Literary Devices Found in Two Kinds

Brandon Tardif


The setting of this story takes place in little china town in San Francisco.


The Main characters in the story are Jing-Mei and her mother. The other characters in the story include the piano teacher Mr. Chong, Jing-Mei's, Father, aunt, and her cousin Waverly.


The plot is made up of 4 parts, The exposition, the rising action, the climax, and the resolution.In this story, the exposition is Jing-mei and her mother move to San Francisco because her mother believes that America truly is the land of opportunity and that her daughter could be a prodigy. The rising action in the story is all the things she does to try to become a prodigy. these things include trying to be like Shirley Temple, memorizing facts, and finally learning to play the piano. The story starts to come to a climax when Jing-mei has her first recital. After Jing-mei's terrible performance at her recital, the mother expects Jing-mei to continue her piano, however she does not, therefore they get into a very heated argument. After this argument, which Jing-mei wins, the story starts to come to a resolution. Jing-mei is not haggered by her mother anymore and they don't talk about the piano for years. At the end of the story, the Narrator shares their feelings.

Internal Conlict

The internal conflict in this story, has to do with Jing-mei. Throughout the entire story, she fights with herself about becoming a prodigy. There are a few times where she describes looking in the mirror, and seeing a prodigy inside her threatning not to come out because she was not trying hard enough.

External Conflict

There is one major external Conflict in this story. This is the conflict between mother and daughter. All the mother wants is for her daughter to bring fame and glory to herself and her family. Because of theis, she puts a lot of time and money into training her daughter. The Daughter, on the other hand does not try to excel; she finds shortcuts around working hard, and never puts any effort into anything, therefor she is a constant embarresment to her mother.


The most important theme seen in this story is the struggle of family relationships. In this story, Jing-mei's mother is constantly pressuring her to practice everyday and do things Jing-mei does not belive she can do. This causes Jing-mei to become very disobdient and to have no discipline, and this leads her to not believe in herself bcause she always fails. In her adolescense she is annoyed by her mother, but with age, she starts to appreciate what her mother was doing for her.


One major symbol in the story is the piano. the Piano represents the hardships that Jing-mei has been through in her childhood. It also reminds her of her work to become a prodigy that she could be.

8.Two strong-willed characters are pitted against each other in this story. What went wrong in the relationship between mother and daughter?

What went wrong in the relationship was that the mom was always too busy pressuring Jing-mei and because Jing-mei kept failing to live up to her mother's expectations she decided she did not need to try to succed.

9.In the first part of the story there is a scene in which the daughter sees herself in the mirror. What does she see? What thematic significance could this scene have? How does it relate to the title?

In the scene with the mirror, Jing-mei sees a different version of herself, who threatens not to come out if Jing does not try hard and listen to her mother.

10. Read carefully the parts dealing with the mother’s earlier life in China. How have her earlier experiences shaped her ambitions for her daughter?

The mother had a very hard life in china and because of this, she thinks that anything can be accomplished in America. She thinks that her daughter can be a child prodigy if she trys hard enough.