The short story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan focuses on a girl, Jing-mei, who is pushed by her mother to be a prodigy. 

At first, her mother tries to make her be a Chinese Shirley Temple and sends her to a beauty training school. She gives Jing-mei several tests, but Jing-mei soon gets bored as it becomes obvious to her that she has no special talent, and her mother is disappointed. Furthermore, Jing-mei is impatient and wants to become a prodigy as fast as possible. She does not want to work for it or change anything about her present self. When looking in the mirror, she imagines that the prodigy side of her is a person who thinks about not obeying her mother, and she decides she will not let herself be changed by her mother.

After they watch a young Chinese girl play piano on tv, her mother decides to give Jing-mei piano lessons. Her piano teacher is deaf, and his eyes are too slow to keep up wi...

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