“Two Kinds” By Amy Tan is about Jing Mei mother who is clear in her daughter’s goals. She want Jing Mei to be a prodigy and famous. Her mother send her to the hair solon to make her look like Shirley Temple. She also forces Jing Mei to take piano lesson and soon has a recital, Jing Mei was confident to play. Her mother invites their auntie Lindo because she stretches out the truth that Jing Mei is talented with music, but the recital was a disappointment to her mother and herself.
After Jing Mei hurts her mother she gives up on Jing Mei being a prodigy. Years later when her mother her back the piano for her birthday, she sat down to play the songs she played as a child. "Pleading Child", and "Perfectly Contented. " Jing Mei notices for the first time, after all of these years, that these two songs are actually two halves to the same song. The theme of “Two Kinds” is coming of age. For instance, “And then I saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of me- a face I had never seen before.
I looked at my reflection, blinking so that I could see more clearly. The girl staring back at me was angry, powerful. She and I were the same. I had new thoughts, willful thoughts - or rather, thoughts filled with lots of won't. I won't let her change me, I promised myself. I won't be what I'm not” (2). Jing Mei is a Chinese American girl who was locked in a struggle over her identity. As Jing Mei looks at herself in the mirror she realizes that she doesn’t want to turn into something her mother wants her to be.
Jing Mei at the age where she doesn’t want to follow her mother’s wishes, she just wants to be herself. A second example, "Only two kinds of daughters," she shouted in Chinese. "Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house, obedient daughter! " "Then I wish I weren't your daughter, I wish you weren't my mother," I shouted. As I said these things I got scared. It felt like worms and toads and slimy hings crawling out of my chest, but it also felt good, that this awful side of me had surfaced, at last”(5). Jing Mei wishes she weren’t her mother’s daughter, showing us that she doesn’t wants to follow what her mother wants her to be. When she says “but it also felt good, that this awful side of me had surfaced, at last. ” Jing Mei shows us that she not going to take it anymore, and by the way to let her mother know she doesn’t want to become what she wants is by going against it.
This comes with age because Jing Mei is coming to the point that she wants to follow her own dreams instead of her mother’s. The final example, “And for the first time, or so it seemed, I noticed the piece on the right-hand side. It was called "Perfectly Contented. " I tried to play this one as well. It had a lighter melody but with the same flowing rhythm and turned out to be quite easy. "Pleading Child" was shorter but slower; "Perfectly Contented" was longer but faster. And after I had played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song”(6).
Now that Jing Mei is an adult and more mature, she realizes that the only thing her mother wanted her to be was successful and to try her best. She soon realized that the song she played when she was young was not as hard as she thought and actually realizing that the two songs was one. The girl cries and screams angrily in the mirror because she feels she is nothing but ordinary, but her vision of herself changes right then to one of power and willfulness, and the reader feels the girl’s triumph when she recognizes this new side of herself in the mirror.