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Rules of the Game
Transcript of Rules of the Game
"Rules of the Game"
By: Amy Tan
Author Biography: Amy Tan
Connection to Contemporary Literature:
This short story is flashback to Waverly's past when she became a chess champion at the age of six. Although it took some time to understand the rules and learn how to play the game, she was determined to win. Slowly but surely, she was becoming a strong chess player; but at the same time, her relationship with her mother became complicated. As she continues to win, her mother becomes more proud of her. Her mother starts showing Waverly off but she does not like it. Conflicts arise between Waverly and her mom after she tries to defend herself. Waverly's next move is the decision she has to make.
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Winston, 2003. 920-29. Print.
-Reminiscing: Waverly is flashing back to when she was six years old.
-Exciting: Waverly is learning new chess moves and she is continuously advancing in chess.
-Conflicting: Waverly is constantly irritated by her mother's presence.
-Ambiguous: In the ending, readers are left not knowing what is Waverly planning to do next and/or if she will win the metaphorical chess game against her mom.
-Relationships may become strained through troublesome events.
-Cultural roots are always important.
-Respect those who respect you.
-A child must learn to become his or her own person.
-Every opponent is a worthy opponent.
Illustrates the transitions from
Video Clip: 0:00-1:00
Amy Tan is the daughter of two Chinese immigrants who greatly influenced her life and writing. Her family's history consists of her brother and father dying from brain tumors two months apart, her mother hiding a secret past that involves three other daughters in China, and her grandmother committing suicide after being sexually harassed.
Written after WWII
Uses personal experiences and family history and background
Waverly's mother and Tan's mother share the same expectations and ideals for her children
Connection to the generation today
Younger generations today tend to have the overwhelming desire to be independent like Waverly.
Some kids wish not to be shown off like a trophy or caught-fish.
Relationships between the child and the parent can be a controversial topic.
Waverly's mom taught her that "the art of invisible strength [was] a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others, and eventually, though neither of us knew it at the time, chess games" (Tan 921).
Waverly is comparing her relationship with her mother to a chess game. There is lack of respect for the mom.
Waverly's mother orders her sons to get rid of the chess game, but "[Waverly's] brothers had deaf ears" (Tan 923).
Waverly said to her mom, "If you want to show off, then why don't you learn to play chess?" (Tan 928).
Waverly depicts the setting by saying, "I could smell fragrant red beans as they were coked down to a pasty sweetness. By daybreak, our flat was heavy with the odor of fried sesame balls and sweet curried chicken crescents" (Tan 921).
The Chinese food markets had "a tank crowded with doomed fish and turtles struggling to gain footing on the slimy green-tiled sides...butchers with their bloodstained white smocks...boxes of dried cuttlefish, and row upon row of iced prawns and squid" (Tan 922).
Readers see that Waverly's mom "sat with [her] in the front row as [she] waited for [her] turn" then Waverly's mom gives her "a small tablet of red jade which held the sun's fire" (Tan 926) for good luck.
Clearly, Waverly's mom is proud of Waverly and supports her.
Waverly was so cold that "[her] breath came out like angry smoke" (Tan 928).
Waverly said that "[t]he alley was quiet and [she] could see the yellow lights shining from [her] flat like two tiger's eyes in the night" (Tan 928).
Waverly sees "[her mom's] black men advanced across the plane, slowly marching, to each successive level as a single unit" (Tan 928).
Compared to her desperate escape earlier, Waverly sees "the remains of a large fish, its fleshy head still connected to bones swimming upstream in vain escape" (Tan 928).
English III/ Period 6
19 May 2014
Waverly's "white pieces screamed as they scurried and fell off the board one by one" (Tan 929).