The historical context in which the mother lived is awesome, the miseries of war, the loss of offspring, and the issues related to coping up and adjusting to an entirely different culture! She thinks with a vengeance about the past and expects An-mei will wipe out the scars of bad memories of her life. She is not willing to settle for the ordinary success rate for her daughter; she wants her to be a prodigy. She has the latent desire that people should tell her that her daughter is so and so! In brief, she desires to be known through her daughter’s fame! She does not realize that skill can be achieved up to a certain level, but prodigies are born great and guidance is just an excuse for them.
Waverly Jong’s chess genius is the case in point. Mother is unable to gauge the essential difference between the two. Waverly takes to chess as the fish takes to the water. His fascination to the game of chess is instant. Mother wants An-mei to be a piano maestro, but the poor girl is not willing to take it seriously. Waverly stumbling across an old man in the park and getting a few pointers is just an excuse, for sprouting of the latent chess genius within him. An-mei gets extensive personal training from an inept teacher, and the outcome in the competition is on the expected lines—she plays badly!
An-mei is not willing to go by the dictates of her mother. She challenges her at every step and retorts, “I didn't have to do what my mother said anymore....
An-mei gets extensive personal training from an inept teacher, and the outcome in the competition is on the expected lines—she plays badly! An-mei is not willing to go by the dictates of her mother. She challenges her at every step and retorts, “I didn't have to do what my mother said anymore. I wasn't her slave. This wasn't China. I had listened to her before and look what happened. She was the stupid one,"(Amy Tan) An-mei is just not interested in following the dictates of her mother. . Earlier, mother has tried to conduct several experiments to unearth the genius in her daughter—she tries to mold her into a child actress, tries intellectual tests from popular magazines, without success. That she tries to mold her into a piano virtuoso is her final try. Mother does house cleaning services to meet the expenses of An-mei’s piano lessons and saves enough money to buy a secondhand piano for her. Even after her failure in the talent contest, mother expects her to continue practicing. This annoys the daughter and she protests bitterly, “I wish I'd never been born! I wish I were dead! Like them!” (Amy Tan)The persistent mother offers An-mei piano as the gift for her thirteenth birthday. She is shocked at the stubbornness of her mother. After her mother’s death, she accepts that gift and sits down to play it for the first time after the lapse of several years. When she discovers two parts, “Pleading Child,” and “Perfectly Contented,” of one song, she understands the big question behind the song. It hints at the inevitable tension between the two due to generation gap molded by the factors like age, ambition, experience and cultural heritage. The insistence of mothers that their children should achieve the best in life needs to be understood in