If "Rules of the Game" continued, can you suggest what happens and a new denouement?

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Amy Tan ’s story is successful in part because chess is used both in a literal and a metaphorical sense. When Waverly finally confronts her mother, demanding that Lindo stop capitalizing on her daughter’s accomplishments, she asks her why she does not learn chess. At that moment, she fully realizes...

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Amy Tan’s story is successful in part because chess is used both in a literal and a metaphorical sense. When Waverly finally confronts her mother, demanding that Lindo stop capitalizing on her daughter’s accomplishments, she asks her why she does not learn chess. At that moment, she fully realizes that her mother is not interested in the game of chess itself. She wants what is best for her daughter, and she is pushing her to gain the necessary “invisible strength” and become the high-level achiever that she believes Waverly can be. At the same time, she is not eager to relinquish her control over the girl. Lindo is a game player, however, who knows mah-jongg very well, and she follows the philosophies of Art of War. Mother and daughter are thus revealed to be more similar than different.

When Waverly half-heartedly runs away and quickly returns home, she is still angry with her mother. In the dream sequence, she thinks about her mother’s eyes and the chess pieces both as black and identifies herself as white. The literal game of chess is no longer as important to the teenage girl. The metaphor game, in which she must determine her strategies for winning against her mother in real life, will now dominate her thoughts.

It seems likely that playing chess will no longer satisfy Waverly and that she will develop new, American-influenced interests—white like the chess pieces, or explicitly not Chinese—that will help her gain further independence from her family. Perhaps she will learn electric guitar and join a band.

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"Rules of the Game" ends with Waverly, after the fight with her mother, closing her eyes and pondering her next move. This is an invitation to the reader to think about what happens next. Clearly, there are a myriad of options, but I think what happens next depends mainly on two factors: how good a chess player is Waverly really? And does her love for and sense of duty towards her mother run deeper than her frustration and their mutual antagonism?

If we assume that Waverly is a truly superb chess player, that she goes on to be an international grandmaster and one of the top few players in the world, it seems all too likely that she will become permanently estranged from her mother, as so many child prodigies do. As she grows famous, there will be an entourage of coaches and advisors, many of whom are likely to despise her mother as an ignorant old woman. Some of them will probably try to separate Waverly from her mother, playing upon the resentment and frustration she already feels. In this case, the denouement might come after Waverly wins a really important international match, perhaps against the Russian champion. Her mother finally admits that Waverly has done really well, that she has truly mastered "the art of invisible strength" with which the story begins. At just this moment, however, Waverly has finally decided to disown her mother.

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It is clear from the way that Tan presents the relationship between mother and daughter in this short story that the confrontation they have at the end is inevitable, and if it had not happened as indicated in the short story, it would have happened at some point, as Waverly becomes gradually more and more frustrated with her mother's involvement in her chess playing and the way she takes credit for her daughter's success. Note how this confrontation occurs when Waverly, recognising it was a mistake, but finding it impossible to stop herself, says: "Why do you have to use me to show off? If you want to show off, why don't you learn how to play chess?" These words clearly are insulting and are meant to wound her mother, and Waverly recognises that she has done something terrible the moment she has said them. The dream sequence in which the daughter and mother play each other at chess shows the outcome of this conflict and the way that her mother eventually triumphs, proving that Waverly's mother's will is very strong indeed and not to be trifled with.

Therefore, I believe that even if Waverly had not said those words, eventually there would have had to have been some sort of conflict between her and her mother. The dream sequence that symbolises this conflict could have happened at any time, and so could have been a suitable denouement later on. It is certain, however, that the conflict would have occurred one way or another, and the "opponent" with her "two angry black slits" would have gained victory. A different ending could therefore have focused on a different trigger to bring out the conflict, delaying it further. It is clear, however, that this conflict was bound to come out eventually. 

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