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Rules of the Game-Amy Tan
Transcript of Rules of the Game-Amy Tan
The story is about a little girl named Waverly Jong. Her brother receives a chess set for a Christmas gift, so she decides to become skilled in the art of chess. She studies everything about chess until she becomes a child prodigy. She begins to win tournaments all over and receives many trophies. Her mother is very proud of her, and she begins to brag about her daughter everywhere she goes. Waverly does not like this and she gets into a fight with her mom and runs away. When she returns home, her mother does not give her dinner and she is sent to her room.
Waverly Jong-Protagonist-a six year old, Chinese-American girl. She is extremely driven and she loves to learn. She is a chess prodigy and she really loves to play the game. She also seems very curious because she is always exploring the alleys.
Waverly's Mom-Antagonist-middle-aged Chinese woman. She is very stubborn and cares a lot about her heritage. She enjoys bragging to others about how wonderful her daughter is.
The theme of this story most closely ties to identity because it mainly describes the character and her relationship to other people. Another theme of this story would be mother-daughter relationships because it shows how the Waverly and her mother interact throughout the story, which is very similar to how most mothers and daughters act. They get into fights but still love each other.
The story takes place in Waverly Place in San Francisco's Chinatown.
This is where the main character, Waverly Place Jong, lives with her family. Waverly lives on a flat, above a Chinese bakery which plays an important role in the story when she starts winning and excelling through chess tournaments because the bakery would display her trophies in the window. Waverly talks about how much she loves the little alleys and shops around the Chinatown, which gives the story a very light mood. The setting plays an important role also because it relates to Waverly's heritage of Chinese descent. Her mom values their heritage, so she feels that it is important to live there.
By: Julia Garofalo
Rules of the Game-Amy Tan
The author chose first person point of view for this story. This had a positive affect on the story because it allows the reader to be able to see directly into Waverly's thoughts. It showed us exactly how she felt about her mother's boasting.
-"In my crisp pink-and-white dress with scratchy lace at the neck, one of two my mother had sewn for these special occasions, I would clasp my hands under my chin, the delicate points of my elbows poised lightly on the table in the manner my mother had shown me for posing for the press. I would swing my patent leather shoes back and forth like an impatient child riding on a school bus. Then I would pause, suck in my lips, twirl my chosen piece in midair as if undecided, and then firmly plant it in its new threatening place, with a triumphant smile thrown back at my opponent for good measure." (5)
-"Her black men advanced across the plane, slowly marching to each successive level as a single unit. My white pieces screamed as they scurried and fell off the board one by one. As her men drew closer to my edge, I felt myself growing light. I rose up into the air and flew out the window. Higher and higher, above the alley, over the tops of tiled roofs, where I was gather up by the wind and pushed up toward the night sky until everything below me disappeared and I was alone. " (4)
- "The chessboard seemed to hold elaborate secrets waiting to be untangled."(2)
-"Lau Po, as he allowed me to call him, turned out to be a much better player than my brothers." (3)
Imagery and Suspense are used especially well in this story. The author does a great job of creating a mental image in the reader's head of exactly what Waverly was feeling and seeing. The author uses suspense to keep the reader on the edge of their seat during the chess matches.
1. Q- Why do you think Waverly is so interested in learning chess?
A-She is mostly interested because the game fascinates her. After her brother beat her the first time, she knew she did not want to lose again. That is why she learns every aspect of the game. (2)
2. Q- Does the story seem realistic coming from the point of view of a nine year old?
A-No, I think a nine year could be very good at chess, but I do not believe someone so young could comprehend such advanced concepts. It also seems unrealistic that she would get so upset with her mom when she is so young. Most children don't seem affected by their parents actions until they become a teenager. (6)
3. Q- What do you think is the main reason Waverly is so good at chess? Is it because of Lau Po or her independent studies?
A-I think the main reason she is so successful is because of her own studies. The teacher definitely helped, but if she didn't make an effort to explore on her own, she wouldn't know as much as she does not. (3)
4. Q-Do you think Mrs. Jong should be bragging so much about Waverly?
A- I understand that Mrs. Jong is very proud of Waverly, but I do not think it is right for her to brag so much. Most people don't like it when parents brag about their children. (5)
5. Q-Do you think it was justified for Waverly to yell at her mom and then run away?
A- No, I don't think it was justified for her to yell at her mom. Her mom was just very proud of her and she wants to show her off. Even though her mom shouldn't have been bragging, it still wasn't right for Waverly to get so upset.
About the Author
This story was written by Amy Tan in in 1995.
born February 19, 1952 in Oakland, California. Her parents were both Chinese immigrants and lived in separate parts of California before meeting in Santa Clara. As Tan was growing up, she suffered a terrible tragedy. Both her father and one of her brothers died of a brain tumor within months of each other. After her father’s death, Tan’s mother moved their family to Switzerland where Tan finished high school. After high school, Tan ventured off to San Jose State College. This is where Tan earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in English and linguistics.
The book was written in 1995 and the literary movement at the time was Postmodernism.
This book fits into that movement because that movement was basically about human life and history, both of which are talked about in this story. Also, most Postmodernism stories keep the same point of view and tone throughout the story. This story does a good job of keeping a steady tone and not changing the point of view at all.