Short Story Comparison: Two Kinds And Rules Of The Game

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Many kids today want to become successful in life either doing what they love or doing what they have to do to be successful with or without support. In “Two Kinds” and “Rules of The Game” by Amy Tan, both the main characters Jing-mei and Waverly have the same nationality and somewhat the same age. Nevertheless, they have very different perspectives when it comes to taking an opportunity to become successful, also the amount of courage you have in yourself to excel in your interest. Furthermore, both characters have different expectations in their family. Mrs.Woo the protagonist of “Two Kinds” Is trying to make her daughter Jing-mei a prodigy on the piano. Jing-mei knows that she is not prodigy material so she always considers the worst outcome. Whereas in “Rules of The Game” Waverly the Protagonist of the story Waverly the protagonist wants to play chess and already has a mindset to success, Waverly wants to find out every little detail about chess so her knowledge of chess can expand.

In “Two Kinds” Jing-mei feels that she is not prodigy material and her mother is pushing her hard to be something that she’s not. Mrs.Woo gave up house cleaning services so that her daughter can have piano practice every day, Jing-mei doesn’t have an interest in playing piano so she gets the sense that her mom wants her to become something that shes not. Jing-mei states, “Why don’t you like me the way I am?’ I cried. ‘I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And even if I could, I wouldn’t go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!'(2). This quote is showing that Jing-mei is very determined that she will always fail so there’s no point of her becoming a prodigy. However in “Rules of The Game” Waverly puts in a lot of effort to be the best chess player. Waverly’s first time playing chess she was engaged with the game and wanted to learn the rules. In the text, Waverly states, “ I read the rules and looked up all the big words in a dictionary. I borrowed books from the Chinatown library. I studied each chess piece, trying to absorb the power each contained”(3). This quote is demonstrating her intentions of trying to do the best she can at chess.

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In “Two Kinds” Jing-mei has less pride for herself than Waverly. Jing-mei’s mother is constantly disappointed in her because Mrs.Woo feels as if she’s not pushing herself to strive for the best. Jing-mei states, “ she cries overseeing her “ordinary face”, Also when she uses the bathroom mirror she mentions that she’s “ sad, ugly girl!”(3). Jing-mei is showing disgust towards herself because she wants to be someone that good at something. Jing-mei’s mom feels she doesn’t know what’s best for her. From Jing-mei’s perspective, says, “My mother slapped me. ‘Who asks you to be a genius?’ she shouted. ‘Only ask you to be your best. For your sake. Do you think I want you to be a genius? Hnhh! What for! Who ask you!”? ‘So ungrateful(2). This quote is indicating that her mother only wants what’s going to benefit Jing-mei in the future and. Apart from “ Rules of The Game” Waverly has a lot of self-assurance and knows what she is capable of doing. In “Rules of The Game” Waverly wants afraid to compete with people way older than her and show her skills. During her matches, she always throws a “ triumph smile”(3) at her opponent so she can sick them out, make them feel a little scared. Also, Waverly meets Jing-mei and boost her confidence. Waverly states, “ I am not a genius like yourself”(4). When Waverly says this she is making Jing-mei feel more self-confident in herself because Jing-mei believes that she is not going to be good at anything and is very doubtful of herself.

In conclusion, I think both short stories “Two Kinds” and “Rules of The Game” Have a lot of similarities because they both want to succeed it just that Jing-mei feels very insecure about herself. Meanwhile, Waverly believes that she can achieve her dreams from the beginning, she was always self-confident about herself and have even more confidence when she’s playing against other opponents in the tournaments. Although Waverly believes in herself Jing-mei feels that she will never be prodigy material, and she doesn’t see herself as being successful in the future. I think both the characters’ moms have a big role when it comes to how they pursue their goals. Both stories remind me of when I was also feeling insecure about myself when I was going to a new public school. All of the kids in that school loved to rap, dance, and sing. I knew I wasn’t good at any of those activities I love drawing. I felt like a nobody in that school because I didn’t fit in with the other kids.  


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