Physical setting

The short story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan is set in Chinatown, San Francisco, USA. This hints at the segregation in US society, as minorities lived together in one area and did not interact much with others. However, America appears in this story as a land of possibilities, at least according to Jing-mei’s mother: “you could be anything you wanted to be in America”. For her, it is a place for hope and new dreams and contrasted with China, which she perceives as a place of loss and sadness.

The story takes place at Jing-mei’s family home, at Old Chong’s home where Jing-mei takes piano lessons, and at the talent show. The piano is an important element of the physical setting, and the story ending with Jing-mei playing the piano in her parents’ home gives the i...

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