Rules of the Game Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature at Oakton Community College in Illinois. In this essay, Kelly examines the social factors that render the story's "game" metaphor nearly irrelevant.

In her short story "Rules of the Game" Amy Tan takes a risk by using a metaphor that has become so over-familiar that it comes close to falling into cliché: she compares the rules of a chess game to the rules that lead to success in life. What keeps the comparison fresh and saves it from that worn-out feel that truly dead metaphors have is the ease with which Tan fits it to the situation that she describes in the story. "Rules of the Game" offers readers what Tan does best: it ties the confusion felt by firstgeneration Americans, who are forced to turn from their parents' customs and find their own paths, to the similar...

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This section contains 1,884 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rules of the Game Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Rules of the Game from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.