Pushed to Perfection in “Two Kinds” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”
In the short stories “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, both protagonists, Jing Mei and the Narrator, are controlled and pushed by the people who look after them because these people want to make Jing Mei and the Narrator better. In “Two Kinds” Jing Mei’s attentive mother controls her because of her mother’s goal to become a prodigy in America. Her mother pushes her because she wants Jing Mei to succeed in life. When she forces Jing Mei to learn new talents, she restricts her from doing what Jing Mei wants to do. Because Jing Mei’s mom demands perfection so excessively, it causes Jing Mei to not want to try anymore. Jing Mei starts to give up because when she ...view middle of the document...
After Jing Mei decides that she wants to be herself, she rebels by not participating fully in her piano lessons. Even though she seems harsh, the mother is pushing Jing Mei because she loves and cares for her. Overall, the push for perfection causes Jing Mei and her mother to have a restricting relationship because Jing Mei is controlled throughout her childhood.
Comparatively, the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is similar to Jing Mei because she is pushed and controlled; John controls her when he tries to help her cure her excessive nervousness. John does this her by deciding what she does, where she goes, and what she can do. Like Jing Mei’s mom, John restrains the narrator out of love because he wants her to get better. He does not fully understand what the narrator is going through. This is shown when the narrator thinks, “John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer and that satisfies him” (Gilman 2). John restricts the narrator from doing what she wants to do because he believes the only way for her to be cured is for her to do nothing. Because he believes this, the narrator doing nothing just worsens her mental sickness. Corresponding with Jing Mei’s rebellion, the narrator rebels by writing in her journal, and after she is mentally unstable, she rebels by attacking the wallpaper and biting the couch. Overall, Jing Mei in “Two Kinds” and the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” are similar because they are controlled, pushed, and restricted by their loved ones.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” English Fiction Prose: Women Writers. Ed.
Maynard Small. Boston: Feminist Press, 1973. Web.
Tan, Amy. “Two Kinds.” The Elements of Literature, Fourth Course. Ed. Robert Anderson et al.
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