Pleading Child – Perfectly Contented

The title “Two Kinds” refers to the statement by Jing-mei’s mother that there are only two kinds of daughters: “Those who are obedie

nt and those who follow their own mind.”  At the end of the story, Jing-mei puts the title in a different light when she realizes that the

ideas “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented” are two halves of the same song.  What is the connection between these two meanings of the phrase “two kinds.” Use specific examples from the story to support your answer.

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14 responses to “Pleading Child – Perfectly Contented

  • matthewm7643

    1. Pleading means to beg for and contented means to be happy or satisfied. So as the song goes on the pleading child becomes satisfied and happy. That is what happened with Jing-Mei at first she was begging not to play the piano. Then when she got older she become very happy with the piano and started to play again.

    ” I’m not going to play anymore I said nonchantly, Why should I I’m not a genius” ( p. 23)

    ” After I had the piano tuned, I opened the lid and touched the keys. It sounded even richer than I remembered.” (p.25)

    ” And after I played them both a few times. I realized they were both two halves of the same song.” (p.25)

    ” You want me to be something that I’m not!” ( p.23)

  • Michael Mancuso

    The connection between these two meanings of the phrase “two kinds” is that there were two two kinds of daughters thought Jing-mei’s mother, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind. Jing-mei was not obedient. It’s just that she didn’t want ot play the piano or be a genius. On the tests that she was given by her mother, she did not do well. It’s not that she did it on purpose it’s just that she wasn’t that smart. The show that she did not do well in shows that she does not like the piano. when she heard the little boy and his mother talking about how bad she did, she knew she was not a prodigy at the piano.

    Jing-mei wanted to be herself, not something she wasn’t or that her mother wnted her to be. she wanted to be one person and not two like the song. She knew she wan’t a prodigy because to be one you have to be born with that gift or that great ability in sports,piano,dance, etc. Someone can work on their skills to make it better but it won’t be as good.

    ” You want me to be someone that I’m not!” I sobbed. I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!” pg. 23

    ” My mother thought you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open up a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. you could become instantly famous.” pg 15

  • taylorm4566

    The connection between “those who are obedient” and “Pleading Child” are Jing-Mei wants to be loved, admired, and adored by her parents and because of that she stays obedient. Jing-Mei stays obedient by putting up with the tests her mother gives her without complaining and participating in the talent show even though she wasn’t ready, and didn’t really like playing the piano. In a way Jing-Mei is a pleading child because she wants to be perfect for her mother so she wouldn’t have her mother disappointed in her.

    “And after seeing my mother’s disappointed face once again, something inside of me began to die.” (pg.16)

    The connection between “Perfectly Contented and “those who follow their own mind” is if you were to follow your own mind and not have someone choose things for you, you would be perfectly contented. Also, Jing-Mei eventually told her mother she wasn’t a prodigy. Jing-Mei followed her own mind, and decided she wasn’t going to be what her mother wanted her to be. Jing-Mei decided she wasn’t going to be what her mother wanted her to be by realizing that she did bad at the talent show, refusing to practice, and having her mother disappointed at her, all the time.

    “For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me. (pg.24)

  • ralphg2499

    Pleading Child – Perfectly Contented
    I think the connection between the story Two Kinds and Perfectly Contended are related because Jing Mei always tries her hardest and tries to please her parents in whatever she does and whatever kind of tests she takes to make her parents be satisfied with her, not yell at her, and like her and how she tried her hardest to become a prodigy.
    P.16 Every night at dinner my mother and I would sit down at the table and she would present new tests taking examples from what she read about in magazines about children with amazing talent.
    P.16 One night I had to look at a page from the Bible for 3 minutes and then report what I can remember. Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance and … that’s all I can remember, Ma.
    P.16 After seeing my mother’s disappointed face again, something inside of me began to die.
    I think the connection between the story Two Kinds and Pleading Child are related because Jing Mei and her mother always fight a lot about her failing the tests, what she has to do and how she failed at the talent show, how Jing Mei never wanted to practice on the piano, and how Jing Mei follows her own mind but her mother wants her to be an obedient child.
    P.23 I’m not going to play anymore.
    P.23 Only Two Kinds of daughters. Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only the obedient kind of daughter can live in this house. Then I wish I wasn’t your daughter and I wish you weren’t my mother.

  • taylors2345

    The connection between the two meanings of the phrase “two kinds” is that “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented” are not just two halves of the same song, they are two halves of Jing- mei. She is a “pleading child” because she fights for what she wants, but she wants to be what her parents want. She wanted to be prodigy because she wanted to satisfy her parents because her mom says that you can be anything in America. She thinks that if she is prodigy, her parents would adore her and she wouldn’t get yelled at: “I was filled with a sense that I would soon become perfect. My mother and father would adore me. I would be beyond reproach. I would never feel the need to sulk for anything.” The first kind of prodigy that Jing- mei tried to be was a Chinese Shirley Temple. She had her hair done like Shirley Temple, but it looked bad, so she finds out that it is not the right kind of prodigy for her. The next kind was a genius. Her mother gave her tests and asked her questions, but her answers were wrong, and they figured out she couldn’t be a genius. She then tried to play piano. When she performed in a talent show and did bad, after another disappointed face that came from her mother, she realized that she could not be prodigy. She fights for what she wants because when she figures out that she can’t become prodigy, she doesn’t want to satisfy her parents anymore because what they want her to be, she can’t be. She can only be herself. She finally stands up for herself and says: “You want me to be someone that I’m not! I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be.” She is “perfectly contented” because when she can be what she wants and follow her own mind she will be satisfied. When Jing-mei’s mother says: “Only two kinds of daughters, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter.”, you can tell that Jing mei is a “pleading child” because she tells her mother that she wishes she was never born. “Then I wish I wasn’t your daughter. I wish you weren’t my mother.”
    At the end of the story, when the fighting is over and they realize that Jing- mei can’t be prodigy and that there would be failure throughout their lives, Jing- mei is “perfectly contented”. She is satisfied. Her mother and her are civil and they don’t talk about the talent show when she played piano and she did bad, and when the book says “But my mother’s expression was what devastated me: a quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything.” The story shows that the songs “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented” were not just two different halves of the same song, but they were the two halves of Jing- mei.

  • shannonm1980

    The connection between the two meanings of the phrase ”two kinds” is at first Jing-mei was doing everything she could to be prodigy and have her parents adore her. She tried being a Chinese Shirley Temple, watching Shirley’s old movies, practicing saying ”Oh my goodness” with pursed lips. She had to tape her feet, sing, and learn to cry. She even got her hair done like Shirley’s but the student that did her hair messed up and she ended up with a Peter Pan boys haircut, on pages 15-16. She had to take tests on things like ”What’s the capital of Finland?” and multiplying numbers to try and be a genious. She had to try and remember passages from the Bible. She even took piano lessons. She did anything to make her parents proud of her, though they never were. At first she was just like her mom, she wanted to be perfect. ”In fact, in the beginning, I was just as excited as my mother, maybe even more so” on page 16. She was a ”Pleading Child”, trying to make her mom and dad proud. But soon after the many failed expectations, something inside of her began to die.
    She soon realized, ”Why can’t she like me the way I am?” on page 18. She was tired of her mom trying to make her ”Something i’m not.” ”I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!” both on page 23. She realized she wasn’t perfect, ”I could only be me” on page 24. ”I saw a sad ordinary face- I began to cry. Such a sad, ugly girl! I made high pitched noises like a crazed animal, trying to scratch out the face in the mirror. And then I saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of me-because I had never seen that face before” ”The girl staring back at me was angry, powerful”on pages 16 and 17. Jing-mei got into a big fight with her mother about not going to piano lessons anymore on an evening after the talent show she had performed a piano piece in, and did not do all that great. ”I wish I’d never been born! I wish I were dead! Like them!” on page 24. Her mom then stopped trying to make her daughter prodigy and gave up. Jing-mei was like ”Perfectly Contented”, she overcame her difficult challenge of trying to please her parents. That’s what makes her two kinds, she wanted to be perfect for her parents, but she also just wanted to be herself.

  • joeyp1212

    “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented”
    Pleading Child and Perfectly Contented explain Jing mei’s Two Kinds of life. I think this because when I see pleading child I think of Jing mei’s as a pleading child just to please her mom.” After seeing the disappointment in my mother’s face something inside me began to die”. P 16 Jing mei is also Perfectly Contented because all she wants to do is live up to her mother’s standards.” I was filled with a sense that I would soon become perfect my mother and father would adore me”. P 16 All Jing mei wanted was to be a good daughter and to become famous so that her mother would love her and never scream at her again. All she wanted was her mother’s approval.” I would be beyond reproach I would never feel the need to sulk for anything”. P 16
    These two songs are two parts to the same song like Jing mei’s life. The two parts to her life were the prodigy child Perfectly Contented and the average daughter who only wanted her mother approval Pleading Child. “I looked in the mirror above the bathroom sink and when I saw my face starring back and that it would always be this ordinary and I saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of me”. P 17 Jing mei’s always thought that there were two sides two her life. On one side was the ordinary Chinese girl how Jing mei wanted to be and on the other side was the prodigy side of her who she had to be to please her mother. And after awhile of being the prodigy child Jing mei gives up on be that side of her the prodigy side. “And then I saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of me I won’t be someone who I’m not” P 17 and “for unlike my mother I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be I could only be me”. P 24

  • andrewm20133

    The title “Two Kinds” refers to two kinds of daughters, one daughter is obedient and the other daughter follows her own mind. The obedient daughter is similar to “pleading child” because it refers to a child who listens to their parents even though they do not want to do a certain thing. We see this when Jing-Mei says, “I wish I were dead”. This shows how much she didn’t like what her mother had been making her do for so long.

    The daughter who uses her own mind is similar to “perfectly content” because she is doing a task that she wants and likes to do, showing she’s being content. “ It was as if I knew, without a doubt, that the prodigy side of me really did exist“. like when she shows she can play the piano after so many years without somebody forcing her to do it.

    “Pleading Child” and “perfectly content” are referred to in the story as two halves of the same song because a child, who is obedient, learns who they really are and then learns what they want for themselves, making them content. Being two halves of the same song.

  • dominickc1320dac

    The connection between the two meanings of two kinds are completely different. One reason because they are paired together and when paired each one is exactly opposite from each other.
    Like when “Pleading Child” was slow and short that’s when she was sad. When she yelled at her mother. They got into arguments and fights over the piano. A quote from the book to represent my answer is “Pleading Child” “was shorter but slower . And with “Perfectly Contended” was longer and faster when she had hope of doing something . Another quote from the book to support my statement “Perfectly Contended” “was longer but faster.” Also when she along with her mother. Both the quotes in this paragraph were from page.25. Everything was going good everyone was happy. “Pleading Child’ must be sad because after Jing-mei played her song, her mother in disappointment maybe because she played bad or picked a bad song possibly. Another quote to support this answer, “But my mother’s expression was what devastated” and “And I started to play, it was beautiful. Both these quotes are from page.22. Also she might have been sad about how she practiced so hard and did not do well.
    The other reason of “Two Kinds” takes on the same idea about the songs. The Obedient daughter and the daughter that follows their own mind. Two quotes to support this “Only two daughters” page.23 also “ I can’t play the piano, I would play after him the simple scale. Pages. 18 and 19. They are completely different. A quote to support this answer “Obedient and those who follow their own mind” this was found on page. 23. Sometimes Jing-mei was obedient when she took tests and practices. She didn’t want to do these things but did them anyway. But when she got mad, she followed her own mind, and did what she wanted to do and she had fights with her mom. Another quote is “I wish I were dead!” page. 2. So all the things link up with Jing-mei, she is very different just like her life. That’s what I think is the link with “Two Kinds”, obedient daughter, a daughter who follows her own mind. Pleading child, and perfectly contended.

  • nick71759

    (Pleading Child) Is that she was mad at her mom. Also, Jing Mei argues with her mom making her mad because she wants Jing Mei to be a prodigy. Her mom pushes her so much that she is a pleading child. Jing Mei argues with her mom because she is forcing her to do something she does not like.

    Quote:No I won’t I screamed. She yanked me by the arm, pulled me off the floor. She was frighteningly strong.
    page 23

    (Perfectly contented)
    Is to be perfectly happy.
    Jing Mei’s mom wants her to be the best in life. Mom tries to put her in things she does not like. Jing Mei is mad because her mom pushes her. Also, her cousin teases her because she is not perfect like her cousin and made fun of because she does not look like a star.

    Quote: Perfectly contented Waverly looked at me and shrugged her shoulders “your aren’t a genius like me.”

  • Michael Mancuso

    The connection between these two meanings of the phrase “two kinds” is that there were two kinds of daughters, thought JIng-mei’s mother, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind. Jing-mei was not obedient. It’s just that her mother thought she was because she didn’t want to play the piano or be a genius. On the tests that she was given by her mother, she did not do well. The show that she played in proves that she did not want to play the piano because of the comments that the boy and his mom had made saying how horrible that it was. She knew that she would not be a prodigy at the piano.

    Jing-mei wanted to be herself, not that she wasn’t or her mother wanted her to be. She wanted to be one person and not two like the songs. She knew she wasn’t a prodigy beause to be one you have to be born with that gift or ability in sports,piano,and dance. Someone could work on their skills to make it better but it won’t be as good.

    ” You want me to be some one that I’m not!” I sobbed. I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!”

    ” My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open up a restauratnt. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. you could be instantly famous.” pg.15

  • Jordan

    The connection between these two meanings of the phrase “two kinds” are Jing- Mei’s mother wants her to be an obedient, talented prodigy because her mother her mother lost everything in China. She thought anything can happen in America. She wanted Jing- Mei to be one kind of girl. And that was an obedient girl. Her mother told her when she was nine that she can be anything she wants to be.
    Jing- Mei wants to follow her own mind. She doesn’t want to become a prodigy or genius. She just wants to be herself. Jing- Mei doesn’t want to take all of these tests her mother had given her. In the end Jing- Mei ends up becoming an author.
    After the talent show Jing- Mei refuses to do what her mother told her. She stands up to her. That was the first time Jing- Mei stood up to her. She had thought if she said no he mother couldn’t force her or make her play the piano. While her mother was making Jing- Mei play they start to fight. Jing- Mei said that she wishes she wasn’t her daughter.
    There are two kinds of a girl according to Jing- Mei’s mother. An obedient girl is what her mother wants and that is the only kind that can live in her house. And there is an open mind or pleading child which Jing Mei is. There is one person but two halves to a person.

  • brandons2010

    1. The connection is that Jing-mei was to play”pleading child” at her talent show. Years later she returns to her mothers house and finds the piano she played at the talent show, and plays the second half of the song “perfectly conteted”

    Like two kind of a puzzle Jing-Mei figures out that both of the songs fit perfectly together. She wants to be famous so her parents like her more.And her mom giving her crazy quizes on what capitals of states are and balincing on her head with no hands, so she could be a prodigy

  • albert2134aa

    Two kinds, being yourself or being obedient, and Perfectly Contented or Pleading Child are all similar because they are all two sides of things. They are also similar because they are all things Jing Mei didn’t want to be, want, or do. Such as playing piano or being obedient not herself. Jing’s mother forced her daughter to do these that she didn’t like. She wanted her daughter to be the best anything.”You can be the best anything.”(pg.15) Jing just wanted to be an average girl. the title two kinds connects with the other topics by all of them having two sides or kinds. An example for both are when Jing’s mother wants her to be obedient”One kind of daughter can live live in this house. Obedient daughter!”(pg.23)and when she was taught Pleading Child but could only play Perfectly Contented “turned out to be quite easy” referring to Perfectly Contented.
    The names of the songs were Perfectly Contented and Pleading Child. They are complete opposites. One is referring to perfect and the other to a crying and wanting child. She tried to play them both but could only play perfectly contented. She then realizes they were two parts to the same song.”they were two halves of the same song”(pg.25). I believe pleading child is telling a part of Jing’s life.This part was when Jing and her mother got into a fight. Jing was pleading to her mother. “I wish you weren’t my mother”(pg.23).
    In this story jing says I’m not playing referring to the piano.”No I won’t!(pg.23) Jing wants to be her self but her mother keeps pushing her away from this. Because of this Jing gets frustrated with herself not being able to accomplish her mom’s goals. This pushes Jing away from her moms high expectations and disables her to accomplish what she wants. “I failed her so many times,”(pg.24).

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