Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Importance of Mother-Daughter Relationships in Two Kinds.

This week we discussed the short story Two Kinds by Amy Tan. This story was about the relationship between mother and daughter. The mother was obsessed with the idea of a child prodigy, she wanted her daughter to be great at something. Throughout the book she pushed her daughter forcing her to take piano lessons, recite Shirley Temple acts, and quizzed her on state capitals, hoping that she was a child genius.

The first time I read this story I felt resentful towards the mother and sympathetic towards the daughter. At first I thought that the mother was selfish, overbearing, and harsh towards her daughter. At the beginning of the story the daughter constantly fought with her mother while her mother pushed her. She became the most angry at her mother when she was forced to take piano lessons, then forced to perform in a recital. I felt the most sympathetic for the daughter during her recital because she didn't hit any of the notes and embarrassed herself. After the recital she told her mother that she wish she was dead like all her other children. For me, this is when the story shifted from feeling bad for the daughter to feeling bad for the mother.

The photograph above is of an old piano. It represents the deteriorating, broken relationship between the mother and the daughter. I chose a picture of a piano because the mother forced her daughter to play it and it was a common cause of argument.Towards the end of the story I started to feel bad for the mother because all she wanted was for her daughter to live a successful, easy life. She wanted to giver her daughter the life she never had. Also, I felt bad for her because she lost all her other children and all she wanted was to provide a good life for the child that she did have.

The most interesting, and important part of the story was when the daughter reconditioned the piano and sent it back to her parents house after her mom died. After rereading the story I interpreted the reconditioning of the piano as the reconditioning of the mother and daughter's relationship as well. The piano was always something they disagreed on, so by fixing the piano it is like the daughter is saying she wants to fix all their differences and finally have a good relationship. The sad part is that her mother is no longer around to see that her daughter truly did love her and wanted a good relationship.

(The photograph above is of a new piano. This photo shows that she wants to start over, or recondition the relationship between her and her mother. Fixing the piano shows that the daughter wants to mend the differences between her and her mother.)

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  1. I really liked the way you interpreted the meaning of the piano, it helped me a lot to understand the importance of it at the end of the story.

  2. yes i also felt sympathy for the daugter she seemed to be pressure at such a young age. Also nice explnation of the piano. I am writing about this story for my essay and looked through and try to break the down the key points in the story but i did realize the piano was really important.

  3. I never thought of the piano's symbolism that way.