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Literary Devices in Two Kinds

In our lives, there author of a short story entitled Two Kinds emphasises the literary element of the characteristics of two characters. The author also uses a variety of literary devices in her work, however the focus is on allusion. When I read the title, I think the short story is about two different sides. As I continue reading the rest of the short story, I finally know that the title represents the protagonist’s changes in her characteristics. Overall, I generally love the message contained in the short story as I can relate it to my relationship with my mother.

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As for the literary element, the characteristics of the characters are focused on the protagonist, Jing-mei Woo and her mother, Suyuan. After being pushed by her mother to become a prodigy, Jing-mei develops a rebellious attitude toward her mother. She resists her mother’s attempts at discipline and resents the pressures of high achievement. This is proven when Jing-mei says “You want me to be something that I’m not!” and “I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!” (line 21-22, page 6). I personally disagree with Jing-mei’s response toward her mother as her mother just wants the best for her future. Jing-mei should mind her words when speaking to her mother, so that she will not be offended. As a daughter, Jing-mei should obey her mother because she has sacrificed everything for the sake of having a better life in a new place.

The author also describes the character of Jing-mei as regretful. After her mother’s death, Jing-mei wishes to appease her mother by playing the piano that she got for her thirtieth birthday. In recognising that the melodies she plays are “two halves of the same song” (line 25, page 7), she has displayed a desire to reconcile that which was previously separated and no longer living at the hyphen of being in the world. Jing-mei should have made best decisions in life before it is too late, as regretting will not c…


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