Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds” – 1 Essay

Alex Lawley English 102 Professor Thomas March 27 2013 Essay #3 In Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds”, there was quite a bit of mother daughter conflict. The mother and daughter had very different views on what the daughter’s destiny should be like and that led to many disagreements.

In the story, there are two major characters, Amy and her mother. Amy is the daughter who is being forced by her mother to become some sort of child prodigy.Amy is the protagonist, but I also believe she is a dynamic character in the story because towards the end of the story, Amy realized why her mother was so adamant about her being good at something because all her mother wanted was the best for her daughter. Amy’s mother is also a major character because she is constantly pushing Amy to do something worthwhile.

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Amy and her mother often disagree and this causes conflict. Amy’s mother would be the antagonist because she is always pushing Amy to be someone or do something that’s just not who she is or wants to be.There are also some minor characters in the story such as Mr. Chong, who was Amy’s deaf piano teacher, Auntie Lindo, who seemed to always be competing against Amy’s mother by boasting about her daughter and lastly, Waverly, who was Auntie Lindo’s daughter and who seemed to always try to be better than Amy at everything.

There is some elements of plot in the story. First, there is exposition because in the beginning of the story, it explains how Amy’s family moved to America and how Amy’s mother believed you could be anything you want to be.There is also some foreshadowing in the story because although Amy seems happy with her mother’s goals for her at first, you can see Amy get frustrated and then it’s clear that there will probably be some conflict later on in the story. The inciting force in the story is Amy’s mother because she forces Amy into things that she doesn’t want to do and this causes Amy to rebel, therefore causing conflict.

There is definitely onflict in the story between Amy and her mother which can be identified as man versus man which is at the piano recital when Amy completely throws the whole recital and shows her mom that she can’t force her to be anything she doesn’t want to be. There is also man versus self in the story because Amy suffers from internal conflict. While Amy’s mother believes she can be anything, Amy settles for less and just wants to be average. There is also rising action in the story because it starts with all the tests and Shirley Temple, but then it kept continuing with the piano lessons and recital.

It seemed like Amy’s mother was just taking it too far. The crisis of the story is when the piano recital happens and Amy ruins her mother’s hopes for her. The climax is a few days after the recital when Amy’s mother tries to force her to go back to her piano lessons and she refuses. The falling action is when the story progresses to when Amy is older and how Amy said she had never tried her best at anything because she wanted to spite her mother. The resolution is when we find out that Amy’s mother has died and Amy sits to play the piano and it comes back to so easily and well. The story is told in first person by Amy.The songs at the end of the story have symbolism because they explain Amy’s life from “Pleading Child” to “Perfectly Contented. ” The theme of the story is how there are two kinds of people for Amy to become, there is the person her mother wants her to be and the person Amy wants to be.

I also think another theme could be mother-daughter relationships. I think the mood of the story would be tension between the two main characters. I didn’t expect the outcome of the story to go how it did. I thought that Amy would eventually go to Mr. Chong and learn piano to make her mother happy, but I liked the outcome of the story anyway.


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