The mother-daughter relationship can only be as strong as the people involved. It can have negative or positive impacts on the lives of both women in various ways. To establish a positive relationship there must be an even flow of communication that is developed on trust and happiness and not marred in hatred or conflict. In Amy Tan’s essay “Two Kinds”, she shows the emerging conflict in the relationship of eight year old Jing-mei, the defiant daughter who is a first-generation Chinese-American, and her overbearing mother, Suyan, a Chinese immigrant.
The mother and daughter battle over what is possible and realistic when their cultures and aspirations begin to collide. At the start of the story the daughter displays acts of defiance and disobedience but as you read further you see that she is just a child seeking approval and acceptance from her mother. The mother seems to be very patronizing toward her daughter by treating her like she is not worthy of love unless she is successful. She has a great desire for her daughter to become a prodigy at something so she can brag about her best qualities to her friends.
This type of conflict can happen in any mother-daughter relationship, especially when culture and acceptance are the main causes of the tension. Tan is good at displaying the cultural difference which plays a major part in the way both women think and communicate. Being first-generation American, the daughter has a mind of taking her time and deciding later in life what she wants to do and be in her adult life; however, her mother being an immigrant believes that she sacrificed her life so that her daughter could have a better one and it’s her job to find out what the daughter could be good at to make her future better. Both mother and daughter are saying and wanting the same thing but neither person is taking the time to communicate this to the other person.
The story has three good examples of both external and internal conflict. The...