How does Mrs. Jong teach Waverly rules and behaviors? 

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Mrs. Jong is a hands-on type of parent.  In other words, she is active in teaching Waverly.  This can be seen in the opening lines of the story, where Waverly says that her mother taught her the art of invisible strength, which was something that could be used to win arguments and respect from people.

Subsequent to this, Mrs. Jong helps Waverly apply this art in her life in practical ways when the occasion arises.  For example, when they are at the market and Waverly throws a tantrum, because she wants salted plums, Mrs. Jong scolds her.  She says to her – “Bite back your tongue.”  She is teaching her the art of invisible strength.  She wants Waverly to master her desires.

Later when Waverly gets better at chess, Mrs. Jong is there to support her. Mrs. Jong’s teachings on the art of invisible strength are indispensible to Waverly’s success. In one illustrative section, Waverly describes her chess tactics in terms of winds.

A light wind began blowing past my ears. It whispered secrets only I could hear.

“Blow from the South," it murmured. "The wind leaves no trail." I saw a clear path, the traps to avoid. The crowd rustled. "Shhh! Shhh!" said the corners of the room. The wind blew stronger. "Throw sand from the East to distract him." The knight came forward ready for the sacrifice. The wind hissed, louder and louder. "Blow, blow, blow. He cannot see. He is blind now. Make him lean away from the wind so he is easier to knock down."

All of this shows that Waverly is a product, at least in part, of her mother’s instructions. However, at the end of the story, Waverly challenges her mother. It seems that Waverly still has a lot to learn.

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