Two Kinds Literary Analysis

Essay by bdebaug2College, UndergraduateA+, November 2008

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Amy Tan, the author, was a daughter of Chinese immigrants. She was born in Oakland, California on February of 1952. After tragedy struck the family when Amy's father and oldest brother both died of brain tumors within eight months of each other, Amy's mother, moved her children to Switzerland, where Amy finished high school. Tan received her bachelors and masters degree in the study of Linguistics at San Jose State University and then studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz for her doctorate in Linguistics, but dropped the program in 1976 to take a job as a language development consultant (Charters). Amy started a business writing firm that provided speeches for salesman and executives at large corporations, but after a fight with her business partner, Tan became a free-lance writer (The American Academy of Achievement). With the dissatisfaction of her job, Tan found comfort in studying Jazz piano and began writing fiction.

Her first story "Endgame" appeared in literary magazines and allowed her to join the Squaw Valley Writer's workshop (The American Academy of Achievement). In 1987, Tan took her mother back to China after her mother regained her health from being ill, and gained a new perspective on her difficult relationship with her mother, which inspired her to write "The Joy Luck Club". In Amy Tan's short story "Two Kinds", she emphasizes how immigrant parents push their ambitions onto their children, who just want to live a normal life in America, when they realize they may not achieve the American dream for themselves. I found the story "Two Kinds" to be a very enjoyable tale of the struggles that emerge from a mother and a daughter's relationship. My first reaction was that Jing-Mei was stubborn and unappreciative of what her mother went through...