“Two kinds” by Amy Tan – analysis

The short story “Two kinds” is written by Amy Tan. The story is set back in the late 80`s in the American city, San Francisco. This was a time where everyone hunted for success, especially for the mother in this story. She immigrated from China to America because of the chance of success.

In the story, we meet a few characters: the daughter, mother, father, piano teacher and the other family. But in my opinion, the story is mostly based on the daughter and the mother. The story itself is told from the daughter’s point of view. Since there is such a huge dialog between the daughter and the mother it`s easy for the readers to understand the tension between the two. The daughter is a normal teenager who is in the age where everything teenagers do is to ignore their parents. Everything she does in this story is resisting her mother. The mother is fairly similar to her daughter because everything she does is arguing and pushing on her daughter. The author hasn’t described the characters in their physical appearance. The reason behind this is to put all the attention on the mental tension between the mother and the daughter.

The main plot is as I`ve said: the tension between the daughter and the mother. The reason for this conflict is an argue between them. The mother wants the daughter to take piano lessons because she sees a talent in her daughter, but all the daughter can see is a zero in herself. The more the mother pushes the daughter into piano lessons, the more the daughter purposely sabotages her talent because she doesn`t want to succeed big time. The plot is quite chronological because it doesn`t jump in different time occasions. The plot jumps from time occasions in a chronological way.

After some observation, I think the story has a climax. I believe the climax takes place when the daughter brings up the mothers two dead babies. It`s only now the mother gradually starts leaving her daughter alone.

The theme in this short story must be something similar to “choose your own path”. I think this because despite all the nagging from her mother, the daughter still chose to resist it and choose her own path in life.





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