Literary Devices in "Two Kinds"

Amir Abdallah, Augest 24th 2012

Setting

This short story is set in , California Chinatown, which has one of the largest asain communities in California.
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Theme

A Theme found in "Two Kinds" is the families strugle for coaperation. For example, when Jing -mei embarrasses herself and her mother at the talent show and her mother accuses her of being lazy. This reveals that Jing-mei feels that she has to do what her mother tells her. She feels as though she lives under the constant shadow of her mother, which makes their relationship very hard. As Jing-mei grows older she starts to understand these difficult times and begins to appricate them more.
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Characters

Jing-mei and her mother battle with each other throughout the story. Her mother is a Chinese immigrant wanting her American daughter to do everything she wasnt able to do. Jing-mei is just a little girl thats want to have fun and not do everything her mother wants her to do.
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Plot

The beggining of the story talks about Jing-Mei interest in her mothers persuasion to get her to do activities. The rising action show Jing-Mei starting not to enjoy the activities her mother wants her to do. The climax is when Jing-Mei decided to tell her mother that she doesn't like the things her mother is interested in and tells her mother that she doesnt want to play the paino. The falling action is when her mother stops trying to get her to do the things she wants to do. The book ends by the mother dieing when she is in her thirties and the daughter seeing the piano and starts playing again.
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Internal conflict

The internal conflict for jing-Mei is that she doesnt feel that shes good at any of the stuff that her mother wants her to do. She thinks that she will never get better and just wants to do her on thing ,but her mother thinks she can do anything she wants and keeps pushing her daughter to do what she desires.
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External conflict

The external conflict that Jing-Mei faces is the trouble explaining to her mother that she doesnt want to do the things her mother is seting up for her. Her mother and her fight about her playing the piano and Jing-Lee physicaly starts hitting her mother
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Symbolisim

In the book "Two Kinds" the piano symbolized the mothers dreams and hopes for her daughter. The daughter represented the mothers hopes and dreams as well. The trembling of her fingers at the audtion represents how scared she was and how skidish she was
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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?

She Sees her reflection and she thinks it will always just be her reflection. She saw and angrier and more powerful version of herself. This seen is the turning point for her relizing that she doesnt want to keep following her mothers vision of her anymore and just wants to be herself. It shows that there are two sides to her and two kinds of personalities she has towards her mother and internally.
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9.Two strong-willed characters are pitted against each other in this story. What went wrong in the relationship between mother and daughter?

The relationship between the mother and daughter went wrong when the mother kept trying to get her daughter to do everything she wanted to do without any breaks.
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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?

Since she has lost many children when she was in china and relized to late what she wanted to be she works her daughter to the edge trying to make her succeed in later life and not end up her with so much lose and not a lot of chance to get to a high place in society.
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