The fiction involves being imaginative or inventive; it is characterized by losing touch with the aspects of reality. Fiction is based on illusions, and an individual who acts based on fiction lacks pragmatism. Two Kinds by Amy Tan focuses on the relationship between a mother, and her daughter, the mother is of Chinese descent, and the daughter was an American citizen by birth (Adams 5).
This study will analyze the aspects of fiction in Two Kinds. The American daughter was called Jing-Mei; her mother always craved for her daughter to be unique and spectacular. Her daughter, on the other hand, felt as if her mother was pestering her to be someone that she did not want to be (Adams 12). Jing-Mei is discouraged by her mother as she feels she does not have the opportunity to pursue her dreams and aspirations in her way.
The aspect of fiction is exhibited in several parts of the story; Jing-Mei says, “at first my mother thought I could be a Chinese Shirley Temple” (Tan 2). This exhibits fiction, the notion of Jing-Mei being a Chinese Shirley temple is purely imaginative (Adams 20). It is not possible for a human being to be a temple. Jing-Mei’s mother had a lot of expectations about her daughter, and at this particular instant, she was completely out of touch with reality.
Jing-Mei’s mother would read magazines to find out about the behavior of certain children. Tan writes, “She would look through them all searching for stories about remarkable children” (Tan 3). The magazines that she read did not even concern children.
She tries to compare Jing-Mei with a three-year-old child who had memorized all the world’s capital cities. She tries to test Jing-Mei on the world’s capital cities; in this instance, she had a certain imagination about Jing-Mei (Adams 25). She expected Jing-Mei to be knowledgeable about the world’s capital cities by default; fiction is exhibited in this instance.
Jing-Mei reflects, “I won’t let her change me. I promised myself. I won’t be what I am not” (Tan, 7). At this particular instance, Jing-Mei was looking at the mirror; she felt angry as she had no chance to be herself. She saw an angry young girl by looking at her reflection. She was very discouraged by her mother’s actions towards her.
“It was like a stiff, embrace less dance between her and the TV set” (Tan 7). In this particular time, Jing-Mei narrates how her mother was getting frustrated by the television set when she sat down the TV went silent and when she stood the TV went back on. This was the trend until she decided to completely stand so that the TV could remain on.
Jing-Mei narrates, “She had talked to Mr. Chong who lived on the first floor of our apartment building. Mr. Chong was a retired piano teacher, and my mother had traded house cleaning lessons for weekly services and a piano for me to practice on every day, two hours a day, from four until six”(Tan 12). This is the period when Jing-Mei’s mother was enticing her to take piano lessons against her will.
Jing-Mei narrates that she felt as if hell would be an accommodative place compared to Mr. Chong’s piano class (Adams 30). Jing-Mei’s mother was always passionate about her daughter, but she was passionate in a negative way. She offered housecleaning services at Mr.
Chong’s place so that he could give Jing-Mei piano lessons. This was good, but Jing-Mei was never interested in to learn about the piano. Her mother would have consulted with her first before enrolling her in a piano class.
Jing-Mei narrates, “And I started to play. Everything was so beautiful. I was so caught up in how lovely I was that I did not worry about how I would sound. So I was surprised when I hit the first wrong note. And then I hit another and another” (Tan 12). At this particular moment, Jing-Mei was performing at a talent show which was held at a specific church hall. She had not requested to play the piano at this talent show, her mother and Mr.
Chong conspired and decided to make her play it at this talent show. She played the piano badly that one of the kids in the audience said it was awful. Jing-Mei’s mother was very unfair towards her as she did not give Jing-Mei a chance to make her own decisions.
“Well, I probably can’t play anymore,” at this instant, Jing-Mei’s mother had bought her a piano for her thirteenth birthday (Adams 25). Jing-Mei saw this as an act of expressing forgiveness. She was pessimistic about accepting the gift and playing the piano, especially after the terrible performance at the talent show. Ironically this time, her mother did not scold her, but she encouraged her (Tan 19).
Jing-Mei’s mother told her that she missed the days she played the piano, and her dad also craved for her piano sessions. Jing-Mei gained confidence and played the piano, and at this time she realized that she played it perfectly.
Adams, Bella. Amy Tan. Manchester, UA: Manchester University Press, 2005. Print.
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. London: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.