Literary Devices of "Two Kinds"
by : Lauren Parker
Jing-mei's mother was sure she could become a prodigy if only she tried hard enough, and at first Jing-mei willingly agreed , trying at a wide range of talents.But Jing-mei always fell short of her mother’s hopes for her, and as she looked in the mirror one night, she promised herself that she would not allow her mother to try to twist her into what she was not. However, after seeing a nine-year-old Chinese girl play the piano on The Ed Sullivan Show, her mother makes her take lessons from their neighbor, a retired piano teacher named Mr. Chong. When Jing-mei discovered that Mr. Chong was deaf, and that she could get away with playing the wrong notes, she didn't correct her mistakes.Entered into a talent contest by her mother and teacher. Jing-mei played “Pleading Child” from Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood. Refusing to practice, Jing-mei was ready to preform at the recital unprepared, in front of family and her mother's peers. She sat down feeling confident, but the performance was horrible. Two days later, when her mother said that she continue her regular schedule of practice, Jing-mei screamed she wished she was dead like her mother's deceased children from her first husband.The piano lessons were never mentioned again.
Years passed , her mother offered the piano to Jing-mei as a gift for her thirtieth birthday. A few months after the death of her mother death, Jing-mei had the piano tuned. When she tried to play “Pleading Child,” she was surprised how easily the music returned to her. She then played the piece on the facing page, “Perfectly Contented.” After playing both pieces several times, she realized that they were complementary pieces, as if two halves of the same song.