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Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" (Essay Sample)


In Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" the Chinese- born mother is obsessed with turning her daughter into a prodigy. What view of the American dream does the mother have? How does it influence her actions and desires in the story? What cost do these goals have for her and her daughter?


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"Two Kinds" is one of the sections of the Amy Tan's novel The Joy Luck Club whereby, June and her mother, Suyuan, are in conflict because Suyuan is determined to make June a child prodigy (Tan 1989). As a result, June is forced to take piano classes but fails terribly during the performance of the recitals. She hopes that her mother will stop forcing her into taking the classes, but she is wrong because she is still forced to keep on taking the classes. At some point, she wishes that she could be dead such as the twins that her mother left in China. The conflict between June and her mother remains unsolved for a lot of years. As well, June is also forced to mathematics in an attempt to uncover her genius side. Therefore, Suyuan has a particular view about the American dream, and this contributes to her actions of forcing June into becoming an America prodigy.
June believes that the American dream is something that can be achieved by any person as long they put much effort into achieving it. It is her view that every American ought to be successful in life by getting the right education, a good career and in turn, be able to live a luxurious life. Suyuan and June depend on cleaning jobs in order to earn a better living in American as compared to their current situation. Therefore, given the fact that Suyuan is already past the learning age and there is nothing much she can do about it rather than seek low-class employment, she believes that June has the potential of making a change. It is her wish that June becomes a learned and hardworking girl that can, in turn, fulfill the American dream. therefore, this explains the reason as to why she aids June into doing huge mathematical calculations so that she can reveal her genius side. However, June does not seem promising in regard to the achievement of the American dream because she rarely gets the calculations right. Suyuan dos do not give up on her dreams of making June a prodigy because it is

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