The story "Rules of the Game" is about more than the rules of a chess game. It is about the rules of life. What rules of life does Waverly learn in the story? 

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The short story, “The Rules of the Game ,” is more than a story about chess. Right from the beginning, this point is clearly communicated when Waverly says that her mother taught her the art of invisible strength. She then employs this art in chess, and she begins to win....

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The short story, “The Rules of the Game,” is more than a story about chess. Right from the beginning, this point is clearly communicated when Waverly says that her mother taught her the art of invisible strength. She then employs this art in chess, and she begins to win. She says,

I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. It was a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others, and eventually, though neither of us knew it at the time, chess games.

As the story progresses, there are two main conflicts. First, there is the conflict between mother and daughter. Waverly is growing up. Second, there is also the conflict between cultures. I would say that the second conflict is the greater one because this cultural conflict exacerbates the conflict between her and her mother.

Waverly is a Chinese immigrant who is navigating her life in America. Her mother represents China and the “old world” with its values. This is in contrast to Waverly’s life in America. Chess is an example of this aspect of her life. For example, she received this game at a church Christmas party, something very American.

In the end, Waverly does not like how her mother uses her to show off. She says,

“Why do you have to use me to show off? If you want to show off, then why don't you learn to play chess?”

Waverly does not know often parents live vicariously through their children. She also does not know that a child’s success is a badge of honor for parents. This Asian collective culture is something that she is trying to break free from. Chess may be an example of this point because chess is so individualistic.

Through these conflicts, Waverly learns that if she is going to break from one culture and embrace something new, she will have to face her mother, who is a towering figure. She represents a culture of solidarity and tradition. She will need the all the invisible strength she can muster.

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One of the most significant life lessons Waverly learns in the short story is the art of invisible strength, which is a strategy for winning arguments and gaining respect. Waverly's mother teaches her daughter the art of invisible strength at the beginning of the story by showing her how to maintain her composure and remain silent while simultaneously plotting on how to attain what she desires. Essentially, the art of invisible strength is a proven manipulation technique that involves concealing one's true motives and influencing opponents into becoming overconfident. Waverly uses the art of invisible strength to defeat her opponents at chess. She allows her opponents to make rash decisions and ends up trapping them when they least expect it. Unfortunately, Waverly's mother is an oppressive force in her life and she ends the novel by using the art of invisible strength to think of a way to defeat her mother's authoritative rule. Overall, Waverly learns the importance of remaining silent and behaving humbly while simultaneously figuring out a way to attain whatever she desires.

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Waverly learns that you succeed in life by being smart and you get happy by doing what matters to you.

Waverly learned “the art of invisible strength” from her mother.  As Chinese immigrants, the family never had much and America was seen as the land of opportunity.  However, her mother still had a great deal of pride in being Chinese.  She taught her daughter how to be a Chinese American.

When Waverly becomes enamored of chess, her mother lets her pursue it but uses it as a way to teach her about life.

"They not telling you why so you can use their way go forward. They say, Don't know why, you find out yourself. But they knowing all the time. Better you take it, find out why yourself." She tossed her head back with a satisfied smile.”

Waverly learns that things are not always what they seem.  Chess is something she has to figure out for herself.  She learns how to do this, and gets very good at it.  Her mother does not let her brag, but she does want to show off her daughter.

One of the most important lessons Waverly learns is that you have to do something because you enjoy it.  The fight with her mother takes all of the fun out of the game, because Waverly forgot that her mother just wanted what was best for her. 

The struggle between mothers and daughters is a key theme in the book.  Waverly does not know how to communicate with her mother.  She learned how to be a good chess player, and how to psych out her components, but her mother remains a mystery to her.  She forgot the number one rule:  No matter how much you accomplish and where you go in life, you must never forget where you have come from.

 

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