The Mother of "Two Kinds", a book by Amy Tan

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 61 times

Standards and beliefs are similar to principles for some people, however in many cases, they can go too far, especially when it comes to reaching certain goals in life. In the Amy Tan's "Two Kinds," the author shows how the mother took her standards and beliefs and applied them firmly on her daughter.

The author shows what standards and beliefs her mother attained. Her "mother believed you could be anything you wanted in America." (Page 374) and attempted in several ways to impose that assumption onto her daughter. For example, she mentions, "At first, mother thought I could be a Chinese Shirley Temple." (Page 374) With the mother's belief about achievement in America, she had a goal to make her daughter the best, and did anything to achieve them, even if it wasn't in her daughter's best interests.

It was evident that the mother's high standards and goals were clearly enforced on her daughter through persistence.

"Every night after dinner, my mother and I would sit at the Formica kitchen table. She would present new tests, taking her examples from stories of amazing children..." (Page375). She continuously tried to change her daughter into the perfect Chinese girl through constant verbal and physical pressure, "yanking [her] by the arm and pulling [her] off the floor." (Page 380) The reader can see that the mother's attitude was due to her selfishness. As mentioned above, the reason why the mother made her daughter take tests and learn the piano was not for her well-being, but rather, to fulfill her (the mother's) goals, that being, making her daughter perfect.

An interesting thing the story highlights about the mother was her influence by surroundings, such as the media and even friends. This developed even more competition within her in making her daughter...