Jing-mei feels uncomfortable with her mother putting so much pressure on her. She is on a continuous struggle within herself to find who she really is. She is constantly distraught over torn feelings of wanting to become her true self and making her mother proud. Still, as time goes on it proves to be better to go against the tide, go against her mother's wishes. "And after seeing my mother's disappointed face once again, something inside of me began to die. I hated the tests, they raised hopes and failed expectations." This quote only exemplifies her troubled feelings of inadequacy that her mother's expectations created. She sobbed and said during an argument, "I'll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!" She asked, "Why don't
Never apologize for or otherwise undercut the argument you've made or leave your readers with the sense that "this is just little ol' me talking." Leave your readers with the sense that they've been in the company of someone who knows what he or she is doing. Also, if you promised in the introduction that you were going to cover four points and you covered only two (because you couldn't find enough information or you took too long with the first two or you got tired), don't try to cram those last two points into your final paragraph. The "rush job" will be all too apparent. Instead, revise your introduction or take the time to do justice to these other points.
I liked this story because I connected with Jing-mei at first and felt sorry for her. However, half way through the story, I began to feel sad for the mother after Jing-mei began behaving selfishly and defiantly by not trying. As short as the story was, it created a momentary emotional struggle for me. At first I could not understand why the mother would force a child into extracurricular activities of which she had no interest. I thought perhaps the mother, given Amy Tan's real mother's tragic history, was living vicariously through her daughter. Later, as a mother of three daughters, I began to see why the mother was trying to convince her child to do something great. It was because she wanted her daughter to be no less than perfect. The story did not change my perspective on mother-daughter relationships because all mothers raising daughters have unique coming-of-age stories. I did stop and reflect upon my own mother and my childhood with her as we had our growing pains. I was adopted and my mother was very much like Amy Tans trying to make every perfect. Tan writes brilliantly with passion and I am a newly committed fan. I would not change a thing in this story.