paper 2 - Symbolism in Two Kinds For a lot of us growing...

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Symbolism in “Two Kinds” For a lot of us growing up, our mothers have been an integral part of what made us who we are. They comfort us in times when nothing seems to go right. They forgive us when no one else can. They provide for our needs and know what is best for us. Most importantly, they love us with all of their hearts. In "Two Kinds", Amy Tan uses symbolism to express the frustrating struggles between parents and children and the growing realization of individualism. Jing-mei’s mother “believed [that] you could be anything you wanted to be in America”(Tan 288). She came to America “after losing everything in China. ..But she never looked back with regret. There were so many ways for things to get better” (Tan 288). She came from China to seek a better life for herself as well as her daughter; her persistence for her daughter to be a prodigy is her way of stabilizing Jing-mei’s life so that it does not turn out like hers. She sees the piano as her daughter’s chance to make something of herself which will give her the opportunity for a better life. To the mother, the piano symbolizes success and happiness. However, the mother sees that the only way to achieve success and happiness is through perfection; she pushes Jing-mei to become a prodigy. Prodigy is shown when Jing-mei first starts taking piano lessons, she “picked up the basics pretty quickly”(Tan 292). The fact that she effortlessly learns the basics shows that she has a natural born talent and could have become a prodigy and make her mother’s dream come true. Additionally, when she plays the song more than twenty years later, she is “surprised at how easily” the notes came back to her; her natural talents is not
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This note was uploaded on 01/28/2012 for the course ENGL 1102 taught by Professor Cantremember during the Fall '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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paper 2 - Symbolism in Two Kinds For a lot of us growing...

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