Rules of The Game

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  • Created by: Lina
  • Created on: 13-04-14 15:32
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  • Rules of the Game
    • On the surface, it applies to the rules of chess
      • W masters chess with astonishing skill
        • Her success is even more admirable when we realise that she is only 8+ almost entirely self-taught
          • Understands the rules of chess+ knows how the game is played+ how to psych-out her opponents
    • From another perspective, the title alludes to the "game" of life
      • Knowing the "rules" to get what you want
        • According, to Mrs. Jong- "the art of invisible strength"
          • Unlike the clear-cut rules of chess, the rules of the game of life are ever-changing+ brutally difficult to learn
    • W+ her mother struggle for control
      • W thinks of her mother as an adversary
        • Like a tiger, waiting to pounce
          • Predatory, Mrs. Jong can destroy with one swipe of her powerful claws
            • W images herself as a victim in their struggle.
              • Sees herself as a fish, stripped clean by her mother's power, unable to break free
    • W is young
      • Hasn't realised that her mother teaches her the "art of invisible strength
        • Equipping W with the very tools she need to win the battles of life that she will encounter when she grows up
          • Self-control
            • The wind is invisible, yet leaves no trace of its presence.
              • In its power+ invisibility, it's the strongest of opponents
          • An allegory for dealing with life's many obstacles
    • This art also represents female power
      • Women in China have been denied conventional paths to power
        • Lindo experienced it herself in the past
          • W uses the wind as a metaphor for her invisible strength
            • Aligns herself with the same element her mother had identified with when facing her arranged marriage in China
              • W's success with chess owes in part to her ability to gain strength through the strategically timed concealment and discolsure of secrets
                • The same ability allowed L to escape from her marriage
                  • When W lashes out at her mother, she breaks her own rule
                    • Puts herself "in ckeck" by revealing her secret weakness- her insecurities about her mother+ her need to believe that he talent is hers alone
    • The power of foreigners
      • Considered ignorant because they can't communicate fluently+ effectively in the dominant language
        • Lindos' fractured English
          • Humour in syntax, but powerful+ biting words
            • Blunt words
              • Demonstrates her mastery of the "art of invisible strength"
    • The struggle for control between W+ her mother
      • Symbolised in the dreamlike chess game
        • W's opponent in this game has the same features as her mother, when W confronts her during their shopping expedition
          • Like the girl in the parable, W attempts to defy her mother
            • Misunderstands her mother's pride in her achievements
              • Feels invaded when her mother hovers over her during her practice sessions
                • As though her mother is somehow taking credit for what W sees as her personal strength
                  • However, in the next story, "Four Directions, she continues the story of her chess playing+ realises that her mother's pride actually functioned as an invisible support
    • At the end, we can see that her mother taught her to use her will to shape events
      • Now knows that getting what she wants shouldn't be left to fate
        • She herself can shape events to serve her purpose
    • Theme of heritage
      • Mrs. Jong takes pride in being Chinese
        • Her joy in W's accomplishment- evidence of her pride
          • Delights in showing off her daughter to everyone
            • Waverly is her legacy to the world
              • Feels responsible for her daughter's success
                • W thinks that she has accomplished everything on her own
                  • Does not yet understand her mother's point of view


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