Teacher: Sophie Nadon
Tuesday, October 14th 2014
Chinese and Proud
For several decades, people from all over the world have been immigrating to the United States of America. Some immigrants introduce American culture and traditions to their lifestyle, which brings them to consider themselves as Americans. By doing so, they start to build a new Americanized legacy of their own. Some immigrants chose to hold on to their culture and traditions to keep their heritage intact. Amy Tan’s short story “Rules of the Game” illustrates the importance accorded to heritage by Chinese immigrants in America in the middle of the 20th century.
To begin with, the protagonist’s mother is very proud to be Chinese and she tries to keep her legacy as authentic as possible despite the American Rules her children have to follow in order to succeed. The protagonist herself, Meimei, and her family reside in San Francisco’s Chinatown as it is cited on the first page: “ We lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown”. Meimei’s parents want her and her siblings to stay around people that have the same roots, culture and traditions as them, so they could grow up in a Chinese environment and pass on their Chinese legacy to their children in their turn. In other words, they want to stay among people from their community. Also, Meimei’s mother describes Americans as lazy and makes an emphasis on the valorization of Chinese implication in different domains. On page 3, she says: “ Chinese people do business, do medicine, do painting. Not lazy like American people. […]”. By saying so, she insinuates to her daughter that being an American is being lazy and that she should keep a Chinese lifestyle. Apart from calling Americans lazy, she scorns their rules. On page 4, in the part where she expresses herself on American rules, the author uses diction to illustrate Meimei’s mother’s lack of accommodation: “ “Every time…