Summative and Formative Assessment Chicago Sample

Student’s Name
Amy Tan is an American writer who was born on February 19, 1952, in California.
Her first novel titled The Joy Luck Club was first published in 1989 and explored the
relationship between Chinese women and their daughters and was good enough to receive the
Los Angeles Times Book Award. She enjoyed writing the novel and she is quoted as saying
“It was like people telling me the stories, and I would write then down as fast as I could.”
The short story Two Kinds is part of this novel and focuses on the relationship between Jing-
mei and her mother who has high expectations of her and always pressurizes her to do things
so that she can become a prodigy. A fascinating thing about the story is that some of the
events mentioned in the short story seem to reflect the experiences of Amy Tan’s life.
instance, Jing-mei's mother left China to come to America, and in doing so, she left her
family behind. Amy Tan’s mother did a similar thing. This is supported by the fact that Amy
Tan was born in America.
In Two Kinds, Jing-mei is the main character who at first seems to follow what her
mother is telling her to do but later realizes that most of the things she told her do not make
sense and this changes her behaviors and actions. Jing-mei's mother was expecting to have a
great life in America. In fact, Jing-mei states that “[her] mother believed you could be
anything you wanted to be in America.” As such, she believed that her daughter could
become a prodigy and in order for this to be the case, she always pressurized her to do
pointless things.
For instance, she wanted her daughter to do things that amazing children in
. Julie Lew, "How Stories Written for Mother Became Amy Tan's Best
Seller", Nytimes.Com, last modified 1989, accessed March 8, 2018,
. Ibid.
. e-notes. "Describe The Relationship Between Jing-Mei And Her Mother In "Two
Kinds". | Enotes". Enotes. Last modified 2018. Accessed March 8, 2018.
magazines did such as standing on her head without using her hands or predicting the daily
temperatures in Los Angeles. However, all these tests seem to be useless and fade away
slowly until her mother sees the Ed Sullivan Show and decides to make Jing-mei take piano
lessons. When it comes time to perform, Jing-mei does terrible, and this makes her regret
why she was born. Jing-mei’s character evolves from being obedient and wilful to becoming
independent and perfectly contented with her life.
As Jing-mei's mother wanted her to become a prodigy so that they can have a good
life in America, she always made her do things that seemed impossible for her. Though she
was not successful, Jing-mei always followed what her mother told her. In fact, she asserts
that “in the beginning, [she] was just as excited as [her] mother, maybe even more so.”
However, after she failed the tests that her mother gave her, Jing-mei started to become
hopeless and vowed not to let her mother change her. She now had started following her own
mind and would not concentrate on what her mother was telling her to do. The prodigy that
her mother wanted her to become now seemed impossible, and it was not worth it to do those
difficult tests.
As Jing-mei promised herself that she would not let her mother make her something
she is not, the Ed Sullivan Show on TV made her mother reignite her hopes of her daughter
becoming a prodigy. She now wanted her daughter to practice the piano and perform it in a
live talent show. This made Jing-mei more resentful and was not willful to doing what her
mother wanted her to do. When her mother tells her that she should be practicing the piano
every day for two hours, she asks her “Why don’t you like me the way I am?”
She is now
. Tan, Amy. "Two kinds." The joy luck club (1989): 132-48.
. Amy. "Two kinds,” 3
not willing to obey her mother’s orders, but she has no other choice. She decides to go for the
lessons from their deaf neighbor “Old Chong.”
The piano lessons continued for some time, and Jing-mei finally went to the talent
show. It was at this time that she completely transformed and now became independent and
would no longer obey what her mother said and she decided that she was perfectly contented
with her life. In the talent show, Jing-mei started well, but she ended up messing the whole
music by playing the wrong notes. She says that “I played this strange jumble through to the
end, the sour notes staying with me all the way.”
The fact that “Old Chong” who was deaf
was the only one applauding shows the extent of how her music was disappointing. In fact,
the way Jing-mei describes her ordeal makes the reader realize that it was a very
embarrassing moment with people who had good hearing, even if they were not conversant
with music theory, would realize that what she was playing could not be categorized as
music. It was simply noise to the ear after she started playing the wrong notes. This ordeal
changed Jing-mei completely, and when her mother told her that she should continue
practicing, she refused to do so. In fact, she rejects traditional behavior and goals, and she
brings embarrassment upon her mother.
She now had her own mind.
The transformation of Jing-mei from being obedient to whatever her mother told her
to become independent and accepting herself the way she was shown the reader that it is
important for people to realize their own interests and potential instead of focusing on things
that they cannot achieve. Though Jing-mei's mother had good intentions for her daughter,
deciding the things that she should do was not a good option to take. Instead, she should have
. Amy. "Two kinds,” 5
. e-notes. "In "Two Kinds," What Happens When Jing-Mei Plays The Piano In Front
Of An Audience? | Enotes". Enotes. Accessed March 8, 2018.
asked her what she finds interesting and focus on making her improve on that. This shows
that it is important for people to focus on the interests that their children have and can
improve on them through their guidance.

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