Two Kindsby Amy Tan Feature Menu Introducing the Story Literary Focus: Conflict and Motivation Reading Skills: Making Inferences About Motivation
Two KindsIntroducing the Story . . . the aspiring immigrant . . . is not content to progress alone. Solitary success is imperfect success in his eyes. He must take his family with him as he rises. Mary Antin, 1912
Two KindsIntroducing the Story The mother in “Two Kinds” is a Chinese immigrant who sees promise in all that America has to offer. She pushes her daughter Jing-mei to become a prodigy. What will happen when Jing-mei pushes back? What events helped shape the character of Jing-mei’s mother? Click here to find out. [End of Section]
Two KindsLiterary Focus: Conflict and Motivation Conflict is the struggle between opposing characters, forces, or emotions. • external conflict—clash between a character and some outside force (another character, society, nature, a situation) • internal conflict—struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions within a character An external conflict can often lead to an internal one, and vice versa.
Two KindsLiterary Focus: Conflict and Motivation Motivation—the reasons characters behave as they do. • Literary characters, like real-life people, are motivated by their wants and needs. They make choices and behave in a certain way in order to get what they want.
Conflict Two KindsLiterary Focus: Conflict and Motivation Conflict and motivation are closely tied. If characters weren’t motivated to fulfill certain wishes or desires, there would be no conflict. Character is motivated to get something he or she wants. Something or someone gets in the way.
Conflictclash of wills Two KindsLiterary Focus: Conflict and Motivation The mother and daughter in “Two Kinds” are strongly motivated to influence each other. Mother wants . . . her daughter to excel so the mother can feel proud and brag to her friends. Daughter wants . . . to be allowed to be ordinary and still have her mother’s approval. [End of Section]
Clues from Text • the character’s words and actions • how others react to the character InferencesAboutMotivation Prior Experience • experiences with people • knowledge of how stories work Two KindsReading Skills: Making Inferences About Motivation To understand a character’s motivation, you must make inferences, or intelligent guesses. Base your inferences on clues from the text as well as on your own life experience.
Two KindsReading Skills: Making Inferences About Motivation As you read “Two Kinds,” pay attention to • the mother’s words and actions • Jing-mei’s words and actions • how the two react to one another Use your powers of inference to determine what motivates each of these characters. [End of Section]