Imagine yourself having a daughter that does not follow what you have her to do. Jing-Mei, the protagonist, was the type of daughter that only followed what she thought was right. This was a great frustration to her mother since she had an image of what she wanted her daughter to be. Jing-Mei always had opposing ideas with her mother. She wanted to be an ordinary child, while her mother wanted her to be a genius that has a talent. These opposing ideas established the conflict between Jing-Mei and her mother. What characteristics does Jing-Mei have that generated the growth of the conflict? In Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds”, Jing-Mei, unlike me, is a character who lacks confidence, and a character who is not determined to do activities that her mother has arranged for her to do.
Jing-Mei is shown as a character who has low sef-esteem. In a negative way, she says, “‘I’m not going to play anymore, … Why should I? I’m not a genius’” (Tan 7). In this situation, it is shown that she had set her expectations to be an ordinary child that does not have a special talent. This shows that she does not have certainty in her own abilities. On the contrary to her thoughts, her mother had high faith in Jing-Mei’s ability on playing the piano, and she believed that she could become a skillful pianist. Even with her mother’s support, Jing-Mei insisted that she does not possess the talent to become a pianist, and refused her classes with her piano teacher. She did not just have shortage in her dignity to herself. In addition to her self-esteem, she denies to show effort in her activities that her mother has suggested for her. Jing-Mei’s mother believes that she can be famous: “‘You have natural talent. You could be a genius if you want to’” (8). Towards the climax of the story, she refused her mother’s beliefs and says, “‘No, I couldn’t’” and declined to play the piano (8). Even with her mother’s thoughts about her, she claimed that she does not have a talent. She made mistakes during practices and did not correct it, and in fact, she ignored her mistakes. Thus, she ends up being neglectful in finding her talents, and finds her parents disappointed about her unsuccessful performance. Undeniably, Jing-Mei needs to increase her faith in herself, and strive to find her talents to become the daughter that her mother wants her to be.
I am a student who shows effort in activities unlike Jing-Mei. On the contrary to Jing-Mei’s uncertainty of her abilities, I always believe that I can do what I want to do. During the rock climbing unit last year in PE class, it was a great challenge for me to climb up and ring the bell on the wall. I knew that I had a safety equipment on, and that my peers were there to help me, but I did not have the courage to climb up high. I was stuck on the middle of the wall, deciding on whether or not to give up on climbing. It was the last chance that I had to ring the bell, but the height of the wall has made my determinations diminish. Hearing my peers and my teacher cheering for me to climb, I calmed myself and decided to climb up. I have set my goal to ring the bell, and did all I could to climb up. On the contrary to my actions, Jing-Mei discontinued on playing her piano, and had an ineffectual performance. Certainly, it was not my case. I made a success in climbing the wall, and rang the bell. Therefore, unlike Jing-Mei, I am a student that who strives to achieve my goal.
Image citation: “Two Kinds Summary.” Enotes.com, Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/topics/two-kinds.