Sibling relationships in Amy Tan's "Rules of the game"

Essay by isabellamargaretUniversity, Bachelor's October 2006

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Sibling rivalry is present in both Amy Tan's "Rule of the Game," and Alice Walker's "Everyday Use." This essay will focus specifically on the sibling relationships in Amy Tan's "Rules of the Game." In "Rules of the Game," sibling rivalry is shown when Meimei is excluded from playing chess with her brothers and also when she tries to gain more attention from her mother and takes her mother's advice, which leads to Meimei's decision to be "the strongest wind" and be the best chess player that she can be.

Before the game of chess came into their lives, Meimei, Vincent, and Winston used to play together quite well. In the beginning, before the chess set, it was always "My brother and I" when Meimei talked about playing around and observing things around where they lived in Chinatown. For example, when talking about the door marked "Tradesmen" - it was "My brothers and I believed that bad people emerged from this door at night."

If it weren't for Meimei's brothers not listening to their mother when she told them to throw away the used chess set that Vincent received at the Christmas party, maybe the relationship between Meimei and her brothers would have remained the same. However, this is not the case, as Meimei says, "My brothers had deaf ears."

Typical sibling relationship behavior is shown when Vincent and Winston did now allow Meimei to play chess with them until she offered her Life Savers she received at the Christmas party as replacements for the missing pieces in the chess set. The boys liked the idea of being able to eat some of Meimei's Life Savers if they won the game of chess. After that, when explaining the rules of the game to Meimei, Vincent became a little short...