I found Amy Tan’s short story, “Two Kinds”, to be an emotional and touching story. The protagonist is a young girl named Ni Kan. She receives a lot of pressure from her mother to be a prodigy. Ni Kan feels like she always disappoints her mother and will never be able to live up to her expectations. In the beginning of the story Ni Kan seems to have very low self esteem in the beginning of the story. Until one day after a fight with her mother she stares at her own reflection an promises herself that she wouldn’t let her mother change her into someone she’s not. I was surprised to read that a girl at such a young age would come to this realization and have the courage to stand up to er mother. I wonder why the mother was always trying to change Ni Kan into one of those prodigy children they saw on TV. It seems like she idolized these children. I also think that it had something to do with her own self esteem. If her child was a prodigy, she would had been the mother of a prodigy, quite an accomplishment in itself. Ni Kan’s mother always seemed to belittle other talented children. She never gave Ni Kan any encouraging words. I’m sure the fact that Ni Kan’s mother lost her family in China had something to do with her treatment towards Ni Kan. It was very sad to read that Ni Kan and her mother had a dysfunctional relationship. They always fought with each other. However, it was evident that Ni Kan’s mother loved Ni Kan and just simply wanted her to be the best she could be. Unfortunately Ni Kan’s mother
NOTE: I previously had the responses to “Who’s Irish?” and “Two Kinds” in one post. I just separated the two responses in two separate posts.