Literary Devices Found in Two Kinds

Tav Offsey August 24, 2012


The story "Two Kinds" takes place in San Francisco California, United States and Chinatown.


Ni kan (Jing-Mei) is the daughter of the mother, she is also the "prodigy".  The mother is the lady who wants her daughter (Ni kan) to be chinese Sherly Temple and then a piano player.  Old Chong is the man who teaches Ni kan to play piano, he is also deaf.  Waverly is a girl who is "Chinatown's Littlest Chinese Chess Champion."


Exposition- Ni kon's mother wants her to be a prodigy.  She wants her to become "Chinese Shirley Temple", and a Piano prodigy. Rising Action-Ni kon's mom straining her to be a prodigy. She enrolls her daughter for piano lessons with the downstairs neighbor Mr. Chong. Climax-Ni kon fails at playing piano at the talent show, and her mom is disappointed in her.Resolution-Ni kon's mother stops begging her to play piano, and ends up years later giving Ni Kon her piano back.

Internal Conflict

Ni Kon doesnt know whether to try and become a prodigy or not to try because she doesn't like what she is forced to do by her momther

External Conflict

The mother is forcing her daughter, Ni Kon, to become a piano prodigy.  The one problem that is occuring, is that Ni kon doesn't want to become a prodigy.


I believe there are two themes in this story. The first one is that you should always take pride in who you are, and the second one is that you should stand up for who you are, and what you believe in.


I believe that the piano symbolizes that her mother believes in her daughter to become the best that she can be.

8.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?

The daughter looks in the mirror and sees the internal conflict with herself.  This relates to the story title in the way that there are "two kinds" of daughters in chinese culture according to her mom.

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

The mother and daughter relationship has many flaws.  One of the flaws is that the mother is forcing her daughter to do something that she doesn't want to do.  Another flaw is that the daughter doesn't try at anything her daughter makes her do, causing her mother to get mad.

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 grew up in China where there wasn't a lot of opportunities for her.  When she moved to the United States, she saw this as a place where her daughter can reach her full potential.