Literary Devices Found in Two Kinds
Will Steward 23 August 2012
The setting is set in a Chinatown in San Francisco. The crowded Chinatown is one of the largest chinese communities outside Asia. The neighborhood has a mixture of restaurants, shops, businesses, and religious/cultural institutions. Area was settled during Gold Rush of 1849.
Jing-mei is the main character in the book. She is always forced to become a prodigy. Her mother constantly strives to make her daughter a prodigy by attempting several things to make that happen. Waverly Jong is who the mother wants to be her daughters role model.
The exposition of the story is her mom trying to turn her into a prodigy by testing her, giving her piano lessons, and taking her to beauty school. The rising action is that Jing-Mei is that she plays the piano really bad in front of her family and friends. The climax is when she gets in an argument with her mom and her mom does not care whether she is a prodigy or not. The conclusion is that the piano made Jing-Mei realize later in life that the piano played as a symbol of forgiveness which made her thank her mother.
The internal conflict that Jing-Mei faced was because of her mother. She felt that her mother was never fully satisfied with anything Jing-Mei did to become a prodigy. The internal conflict the mom faced was that she wanted her daughter to be a prodigy so badly. So badly that she pushed her and pushed her until her daughter finally rebelled.
An external conflict for this story was daughter vs. mother. The tension between the two grew and grew as the story went on. Eventually the daughter rebelled which led too the mother and daughter clashing. From the clash, the mother was heartbroken.
There are several themes for the story. The theme that I took away from the story was that People often try to control another person when the person can make choices for themself without help. The mother constantly tried to control her daughters life. Jing-Mei did not want what her mother wanted so she did not take advantage of anything her mother provided for her. Some examples were when Jing-Mei took piano lessons and attended beauty school.
In this story the piano was the symbol. The piano had a meaning that meant way more than just a tool used to become a prodigy. Later in life Jing-Mei realized the piano was a symbol of forgiveness to forgive her mother. The piano was also a symbol to thank her mother. These symbols were present throughout the book but Jing-Mei did not realize this until later on in life.
The daughter sees her only her face staring back at her. And she is sad because her face is ordinary and always will be. Then she saw the prodigy side of her. An angry and powerful girl. This scene relates to the theme because it shows how her mom wants her to be a sweet little chinese Shirley Temple and Jing-Mei is going to rebel from her mother. This scene relates tothe title because it is showing that there is two faces of Jing-Mei. And the two kinds of her are battling out.
In this story the mother wanted the best for her daughter. She pushed her and pushed her making Jing-Mei not want to follow in the path her mother wanted her to anymore. Jing-Mei was battling what her mom wanted her to do and what she wanted to do. The tension built up so much which caused a clash between mother and daughter.
Her mother lived in China and lost everything. She lost her mother, father, house, first husband, two daughters, and twin baby girls. She thought that you could be anyone you wanted to in America. The mother had high hopes for her daughter because she was providing Jing-Mei with everything she needed to become a prodigy. The mother wanted Jing-Mei to not have the life she had. The mother wanted Jing-Mei to exceed her and become a prodigy.