Setting Analysis of “Two Kinds”

The short story, “Two Kinds” written by Amy Tan, is about a Chinese family that lives in

America and how they determine a thing that the daughter could be good at. In a short story, the

setting is always the most important part because it is crucial to the story, the plot, and the

characters and how they are played. It also affects where it’s located, how it starts, the type of

conflict, and the way it influences the characters behaviors and the type of characters in the story.

One of the most important ways the setting affects a story is through the characters social

status and their location. In “Two Kinds,” the mother pushes and pushes her daughter so she can

do her best and be successful. This story would be completely different if the family was rich or

if they had a different background/culture. The mother probably wouldn’t push her daughter too

much and that it wouldn’t be a big deal to the mother if the daughter was good at anything.

Another way the setting affects the characters is by behavior and the way the characters are

presented. The mother is presented as a very poor woman who cleans a lot and the father is

working long hours at his job. Their behavior is strict and somewhat caring because they want to

find something that their daughter is really great at so she can express that talent and use it in life

to either become successful or to enjoy life the way she has it.

The setting would also affect the way the conflict is played in the story. The biggest

conflict in the story is that the mother wants her daughter to play the piano, but the daughter gets

tired and refuses to play. “So now when my mother presented her tests, I performed listlessly…”

(2) Then the mother dies, and the daughter begins to think in a different way and starts to

practice the piano. Other characters could possibly intervene with the situation between the...