Literary Devices Found In Two Kinds

Kimberly Reid August 24, 2012


The setting is set in San Fransicsco`s Chinatown. One of the largest Chinese communities outside of Asia.


The narrater, Amy Tan, her mother and her father.


Exposition: Amy and her parents move to America when she was a baby so that her mother could meet her goal by making Amy a prodigy. At first Amy went along with her mothers goal of making her a prodigy but after a while the will power wore off.

Rising Action: Amy's mother makes many attempts to make her daughter a prodigy such as getting her a perm to attempt a Chinese version of Shirley Temple, a Peter Pan haircut and making her start piano lessons.

Climax: The day of her Amy's first recital comes and she is very nervous. Unlike her mother who was very proud and excited to hear Amy play like the prodigy she though she was. Amy starts to play her peice and she realizes how terribly she was playing, but for some odd reason she couldnt stop playing once she had started.

Resolution: We go into the future where Amy's mother has recently passed. She is offered the piano, and she feels like it is a trophy given back to her. She gets the piano tuned and regrets that she never got to play for her mother before she passed away.

Internal and External Conflict

The internal conflict in this story is how Amy's mother keeps pushing her to be a prodigy and making her to prepare to be the best. The external conflict is when Amy and her mother start to argue about how Amy is giving up on her mothers dream to be a prodigy because Amy doesn't think she can do it anymore.


Amy's parents move to America hoping to give her a chance to be a prodigy. But throughout certain events of Amy's life, she gets tired of trying to be the perfect child and gives up on her mother.


Something that shows symbolism in this story are the two music pieces she found in the wooden bench by the piano. When Amy played them she realized that they two halves of the same song and she also realized that the song represented her life.


In the first part of the story the Amy sees herself as a ballerina girl waiting on music to start so she could start dancing. She also saw herself as a Cinderella stepping out of her carriage. This scene is very much like the title because shes could stay normal Amy or she could be prodigy Amy at any time she pleased.

This mother and daughter relationship was a very difficult one. The only real communication that they really have is when Amy's mother is telling Amy what to do and how to be the best in what she does. Looking through the story I could tell that Amy was getting tired of her mother always talking down to her and telling her what she should be like. After a while Amy finally rebels because she can no longer take the embarrassment she and her mother has been putting on her.

Looking at how Amy's mother life has been, I'm sure all she wants to do for her daughter is to make sure that if anything happens to her like what happened to her mother, she will always be okay and have something to fall back on.