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Parental Expectation and Relationship between the Mother and Her Daughter in Two Kinds: Critical Analysis

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The author Amy Tan uses the topic Two Kinds to demonstrate that the child can either follow the parent’s expectations by living the dream of their parents or still following their own path and becoming unique. Parents start thinking and imagining about their children’s expectations from the moment they found out about the sex of the child. After finding out that they are expecting a Babyboy, some parents start imagining attending their graduation in a medical school. After finding out that they have a baby girl, they start fantasizing about how they will teach her to cook and how she will grow up to be a strong woman. However, after being unable to achieve some dreams in life, some parents turn their children’s expectations. A parent who wanted to become a doctor and did not manage might want the child to become one to satisfy their ego. Other parents would want their children to pick their path and follow their route; for instance, a parent who is a lawyer would like to have their child follow their footstep in practicing law. Other parents, like the mother of Ni kan would like their children to be the best to boost their self-esteem.

Two kinds

The author paints a good image of the relationship between the mother and her daughter. The mother was determined to see her daughter excel and amount to be the best in life. She could see the potential in her that could propel her to greatness. She starts by telling her that she can amount to anything she wanted in life. Consequently, the mother compares her with others, and she is seen trying out different paths to help her daughter discover herself. The daughter was very obedient and would always give her best in trying what the mother had suggested. Her mother provided everything necessary that could help her discover her talent. We can see her encouraging Ni Kan to watch more of Shirley’s movies on TV and went to an extend of enrolling her in a Shirley Temple. She also created time to take her through academic work from magazines she collected from the cleaning houses.

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However, Ni kan relationship with her mother started deteriorating after failing in several tests. For instance, her mother was disappointed after she is unable to memorize a Bible chapter. She became frustrated that her high expectations and hopes were cut short. Nevertheless, her mother kept the hope of helping Ni Kan discover herself. She was ready to assist her daughter on the journey of choice. After seeing a girl playing piano, she encouraged her daughter and even paid piano classes to see her daughter excel. But this girl never took the classes seriously, and her failure is demonstrated on the day she was to perform in church. Her parents invited friends to witness the success of their child, only to face shame. Things got worse when she refused to practice the piano even after her parents went out of their way to buy it. Following, a series of failure Ni kan relationship with mother rekindled during her thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, her mother passed on before she could enjoy her daughter’s excel.

Ni kan comes from a humble family, judging from the type of work her mother was doing. However, irrespective of her poverty, she still believed that her daughter would grow up to conquer the world. She believed that with good nurturing, her daughter could become anything she desired in life. She is seen doing her best to support any adventure that would propel her daughter to greatness. But Ni kan failed to take her mother seriously, leading to a broken relationship. By the time her mother is dying, she had tried her best to assist her daughter even if the results were not pleasing. Children should come to the reality that their parents want nothing but the best for them. Each parent wants to see their children conquering the world. However, there is nothing much the parent can do if the child is not willing. It is also advisable for parents to listen to their children’s interests to help them make the right decisions in life. Children should not be handled like machines; alternatively, they should be engaged before making any decision.

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Parental Expectation and Relationship between the Mother and Her Daughter in Two Kinds: Critical Analysis. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
“Parental Expectation and Relationship between the Mother and Her Daughter in Two Kinds: Critical Analysis.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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