Rules of the Game

Topics: Chess, White and Black in chess, FIDE Pages: 7 (2783 words) Published: October 15, 2012
 Amy Tan writes American literature with a Chinese-American view with her short story titled “Rules of the Game”, where she shows multiple themes like; chess is a game of life, mothers versus daughters, cultural gap, and the generation gap. The Characters

The writer Amy Tan uses similar experiences to give the characters life and a sense of real Chinese-American life and the clash between cultures. The Chinese have a life thought of honor and luck and the American's is cockiness and self-confidence. The protagonist- Waverly, is a seven-year-old, Chinese-American stuck in between the two cultures clashing. Being a round character, Waverly shows joy and aggravation. In showing joy, she is encouraged to go to chess tournaments and thinks to herself, “I desperately wanted to but I bit my tongue back”. Wanting to join in the tournaments, she tells her mother she does not want to make her do the opposite.  Waverly gets very aggravated at her mother. Waverly says to her mother, “Why do you have to use me to show off? If you want to show off, then learn to chess”. Waverly has had enough of her mother gloating and telling everyone how great Waverly is at chess. Since Waverly has multiple, emotions she is a round character and well developed. Waverly as a static character is the same in the beginning as in the end. Her mother, in a pushy manor towards Waverly says, “Every time people come out from foreign country must know the rules.” In a sense also threatens her by saying, “You not know, judge say, too bad, go back”. Meaning that she could be sent back to China if she did not follow the rules. At the end of the story, her mother says to the rest of the family, “We not concerning this girl. This girl not concerning us”. That tells the reader that the family should have nothing to do with her and she is back to being the least liked in the family being a girl and last born in a Chinese family. These give the story the cultural influence of how Chinese parents teach and raise their children. Waverly wanted to become the best chess player and learn the game to inside and out. Waverly states, “The chess board seemed to hold elaborate secrets waiting to be untangled”. She wanted to know how to counter and start every game. During a tournament she was about to face a boy and thought to herself, “A light wind began blowing past my ears. It whispered secrets only I could hear”. She becomes one with the chessboard and is strategizing every move possible. The mother Lindo as the antagonist.

The mother is portrayed as a round character throughout the story. She shows pride in the beginning of the story and then later in the story she changes, showing anger towards her daughter. Lindo in this text shows her support for daughter, “My mother would join the crowds during these outdoor exhibition games. She sat proudly on the bench, telling my admires with proper Chinese humility, ‘is luck”. Lindo in the beginning of the story shows that she supports her daughter by showing up to her games. Later on in the story, she changes faces from being a proud mother to being upset, angry, and not supportive towards her daughter. She shows this when Waverly sees, “My mother’s eyes turned into dangerous black slits. She had no words for me, just sharp silence”. This shows that her mother can change form being proud of her daughter to being angry with her because Waverly rebels agents her. Lindo being a round character affects the story because it showed multiple dimensions of her personality.

Not only is Lindo a round character she is static. She does not change at all in this story. Her attitude stays the same thorough the story. From the beginning she did not want the chess set as seen from this text from the story, “When we got home, my mother told Vincent to throw the chess set away. ‘She said, tossing her head stiffly to the side with a tight, proud smile”. This shows that she does not want the set. Towards the ending, she shows the same attitude...
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