Rules of the Game Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

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In "Rules of the Game," what is the art of invisible strength?

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At the beginning of the short story, Waverly's mother teaches her the art of invisible strength. Waverly's mother tells her daughter to bite her tongue because the "Strongest wind cannot be seen." The next week, Waverly watches as her mother secretly places some plums into their basket while shopping and leaves the store without paying for them. As a Chinese immigrant, Waverly's mother learns to remain quiet and appear timid while she secretly manipulates others into getting what she desires. Essentially, the art of invisible strength is a way to manipulate others by subtly attaining what one desires while appearing to be passive and submissive.

As Waverly begins playing chess, she uses the art of invisible strength to defeat her opponents. Many times, Waverly sacrifices various chess pieces in order to trick her opponents into making wrong moves. Waverly's subtle tactics and ability to manipulate her opponents give her an advantage during her chess matches. Waverly describes her use of...

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