Analysis Of Rules Of The Game By Amy Tan

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Paige Rogge Mrs. Dzak English III, 2B 22 April 2014 Taken Too Far: An Analysis of “Rules of the Game” Some people say that the love between a mother and her daughter is forever; but what about the understanding? In the case of Waverly Jong and her mother in the story “Rules of the Game,” by Amy Tan, there is much miscommunication and misunderstanding. The story is set in mid-1950’s Chinatown and as the story opens, it is Christmas time. “Rules of the Game” is the telling of how a little girl learns to be more independent but falls into conflict with her mother along the way and becomes a type of trophy. Amy Tan uses elements such as character, symbolism, and setting to portray the themes of struggle between two cultures and independence perfectly in “Rules of the Game.” In “Rules of the Game,” the main character, Waverly Jong, is a typical seven-year-old girl living in Chinatown, San Francisco. Being round and dynamic, there is much to Waverly. As one reads further into the exposition though, she learns to play chess with her brother, Vincent. Readers can see more of a complex character when Waverly discovers chess: “I discovered that for the whole game one must gather invisible strengths and see the endgame before the game begins” (Tan 1113). This shows readers that as she learns more about the game of chess, the more she becomes her own person, showing the theme of independence. In the beginning though, Waverly is very dependant on her mother and family, but when she plays chess, she be comes more of an American than just Chinese. Evidence of this can be seen when Waverly explains her status in the community: “I was still some 429 points away from grand-master status, but I was touted as the Great American Hope, a child pr... ... middle of paper ... ...can sence that old Chinese way of thinking when Waverly’s mother says: “We are not concerning this girl. This girl not have concerning for us” (Tan 1117). In conclusion, Amy Tan uses many literary elements such as characterization, symbolism, and conflict to display the themes of independence and the battle within Waverly between her Chinese heritage and becoming Americanized. The characterization shows just how much young Waverly changes from beginning to end, and how she grows further and further from her family. The struggle between being an American and Chinese is portrayed with the symbolic properties of the good luck charm from her mother, the wind she hears while playing chess, and the game itself. By using the element of conflict, Tan shows the extent of the conflicts between the two cultures and ways of life, and also between Waverly and her mother.

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