Last week we read a short story by Amy Tan. The short story is about the main character Jing-mei Woo’s childhood and the effects of her mother’s high expectations for her life.
The short story tells us about a woman and a daughter that expects a great life in America. The daughter Jing-mei has set an plan for her future. She wants to become a “Chinese Shirley Temple” by making a career within dancing and singing. Her mother is desperately searching for Jing-mei’s talent. She is consumed in the belief that Jing-mei is a genius. So she makes her daughter do a lot of pointless tests, that she sees children do in magazines. Such as reciting world capitals. Those test’s proves to be useless, and all ideas began to fade away, until she bought her daughter a piano. She starts taking piano-lessons, but she constantly fails. Her piano performance is terrible.
However Jing-mei became pretty tired of her mother constantly being unsatisfied with the genius belief. And the fact that her mother always forces her for doing things she think is the best for her, and not thinking about how her daughter thinks about it, makes it all difficult.
The clear issue in this short story is about getting forced to do things they dont want. Jing-mei doesn’t have rights in her family. and that’s what the fight between Jing-mei and her mother is about. She doesn’t have a voice in this family. And that is what the story focuses on two themes: the American Dream and the tension between mothers and daughters.