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Two Kinds

            Sometimes expressing our parents" love for us and a lot of the time annoying us, who had never heard their mother or father telling them to go do their homework or to go practice their recital? Parental pressure is often part of a child's life as it was part of Jing-Mei's in Amy Tan's Two Kinds in The Harbrace Anthology of Short Fiction. This affected Jing Mei more than anyone else for a number of reasons: Her mother's roots in a disciplined Chinese culture and Jing Mei having to deal with a Chinese background in an American lifestyle.
             Throughout the story, we find out what kind of life Jing-Mei's mother has lead. She has had to leave her home country to flee the political troubles it was undergoing during the Maoist revolution in 1949, as if that wasn't enough in the process she lost the only two girls she had at the time to that revolution which claimed millions of other lives. After immigrating to America and having another child, a daughter again, it is natural for her to place all of her hopes in that child, probably in order to compensate what she has missed with her other two daughters. It is through the stubbornness of her discipline that the mother expressed her immense love to her child and because she wasn't able to see her previous daughters succeed she absolutely wanted Jing-Mei to be her best and that is when she started out on her quest to find out what her daughter's talent was: "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."[1] Although the mother thought she was doing her daughter some good by "training" her to become a Chinese Shirley Temple she didn't think of how failure would affect her little girl and how it would make her afraid to try again when she didn't succeed.
             Towards the middle of the story Jing-Mei started to get tired of the whole test routine and it started to affect her self-esteem and it made her think that she was "Such a sad, ugly girl!"[2], because she knew she would never measure up to these kid prodigies so instead of putting all of her energies into trying she would apply herself as much as possible not to try.

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