The Land of Opportunity?
"My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous." These are some of the dreams that Jing-Mei's mother in Amy Tan's Two Kinds has of America. She is not alone. Millions of people come to America to make these dreams come true, like the Indian's Tribe in Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. They all come with their parents to America in hope of finding a better living to get away from the politics in their countries. Their parents or people putting enormous pressure on them to succeed, in the end it proves to be too much for them and the live mediocre lives.
In Tan's Two Kinds the story is a about an Asian family trying to assimilate to an American lifestyle. The mother, who was originally from china, wants to turn her daughter into a "prodigy" so she can be famous and live an extravagant lifestyle. The mother who "Believes you could be anything you wanted to be in America", spends most of her time watching TV, hoping to find a talent, which her daughter might possess. After several attempts at many different talents, the daughter becomes very frustrated and hateful towards her mothers attempts to change her.
"And after seeing my mother's disappointed face again, something inside of mebegan to die. I hate the tests, the raised hopes and failed expectations. Before going to bed that night, I looked in the mirror... I saw only my face staring back - and that it would always be this ordinary face...