Literary Devices Found in Two Kinds

Bobby Harwood August, 26, 2012


We find our setting in this short story to be in San Francisco, California, Chinatown
This is a picture of San Francisco, California, Chinatown


The main focus of this short story is on these two charactors, Jeng Mei and her mother.This picture is my representation of the mother and her daughter.


The plot of the story is the following-Exposition: The mother and her daughter move to america, with high hopes and dreams. The mother wants her to be some star in one catagory or another.-Rising Action: The mother has Jen Mei watch these Sherly Temple shows, hoping that she would show talents for acting. When she did not, her mother started quizing her, on all sorts of random things because she had read about this little boy who could name every state and capitol of the USA. Then she has Jeng Mei take piano lessons with an old, deaf man named Mr. Chong. He taught her well, but simce he was deaf, the girl could get away with many mistakes and never have to do it over.-Climax: There is a competition, the mother thinks that her daughter must be perfect, since she had all those hours to practice. She messed up many times on her notes and did terrible. The mother says that her daughter just never tried, not even once. And then when the girl had enough with the lessons she wished she was never born. This upset the mother because of the many babies she had that never survived.-Resolution: She never had piano lessons again. Her mother gave up on her. but when a relative died, her mother gave Jeng Mei the piano. The girl looks at these two songs, one she had to play at the competition, the other she never tried at all. And after she played them a few times, she realized they were two halves of the same song.The picture below shows the story line.

Internal conflict

Jeng Mei was excited at first. She had wanted to become the chinese Sherly Temple. But it just did not catch on. She tried many things but got bored of them when she did not do well. soon she gave up, and she realized that she did not have to do any of these things and wanted to be her own person.The pictur below is Sherly Temple, the little TV star.

External Conflict

Jeng Mei's mother wanted her to be a star of some sort. She was very determined to get star quality out of Jing mei. At one point, her daughter refused to do her piano lessons, so her mother dragged her to the piano and made her play. Below, is a picture that represents Ni Kan being forced to play the piano


A theme I find in this story is the difficult relatioships a family can have. Jing Mei is pressured by her mother to be talented at things she just is not. Jing mei has treid at first but her mother still says she does not try at all. These relatioships can result from misunderstanding or expectations that are just too high. I think it resulted from both.Below, the picture of the report card resembles the high expectations the mother has Jing Mei.


The piano in this story that the mother and father bought for Jeng Mei to practice on is a symbol for her mothers high hopes. They were so high that she bought a nice piano. When the piano was given to Jeng Mei, it was a symbol of forgiveness from the mother.
In the first part of the story, Jeng Mei sees her self in the mirror, and she saw herself; a said , ordinary girl, nothing special. She started to cry and pitch a fit, in the bathroom by herself. Then she saw a different girl. An angry girl, with power. This is a major relation to the title "Two Kinds". There were also two kinds of Jeng Mei.This picture represents the two sides of Jeng Mei.

In the story, two strong willed people, Jeng Mei and her mother, are constantly against eachother closer to the end. The relationship between these two went wrog when the mother started setting unreallistic expectations. From there it went down hill.

This picture represents their "unsatisfactory" relationship.

The mother came to America after losing everything. She believed you be anything in America. Including getting a good retirement, getting rich, and become instantly famous. The thought bubble below represents the dreams of the mother for her future in America.