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In Amy Tan's story '' Two Kinds'', a narrator, Jing-mei, is a Chinese American girl who struggles to find her identity, which is resulted from the conflict with her Chinese immigrant mother who imposes the American dream on her daughter. The conflict between Jing-mei and her mother is caused by her mother pushing her into being a prodigy. The identity of the second-generation of immigrants is caught between two cultures: the culture that prevails in their parent's land and the culture with which the second-generation grows up. Jing-mei's struggles to search for and discover her identity are represented by the interplay of the mother-daughter relationship, which is based on two kinds of cultures, and two pieces of music.
Jing-mei discovers an independent self and tries to establish her own identity apart from their mother's dream. At first, she tries to live upon her mother's expectations and please her mother. After seeing her mother disappointed when she fails many of her mother's prodigy tests, Jing-mei no longer desires to be a prodigy and determines to be herself. She normally sees herself as an ''ugly and sad girl''; however, she discovers the other kind of herself as '' a powerful girl'' reflected in the mirror, which implies her identity and her choice to make a change.
The conflict between Jing-mei and her mother develops her wilful character and rebellious independence. As her mother strives to invent Jing-mei's identity, not only do ''two kinds'' of an obedient and disobedient Jing-mei experience inner conflict, but also the ''two kinds'' of collectivist Chinese and individualistic Chinese American women clash. Jing-mei demonstrates her wilfulness when she ''performed listlessly'' and ''pretended to be bored'' in further tests and also resists successfully learning to play the piano. She decides not to let her mother change who she is.
Through the realization of both '' Pleading Child'' and '' Perfectly Contented'' as a part of one song,...