Rules of the Game Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

Rules of the Game book cover
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What is the main conflict in "Rules of the Game" by Amy Tan?

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The primary conflict of Rules of the Game revolves around the theme of "hidden strength." Hidden strength is a concept that Waverly's mother, Lindo Jong, instills in her from an early age. It is the idea that one can become victorious by remaining silent and not giving anything away. It is perhaps this lesson that allows Waverly to become a chess prodigy. As she rises through the ranks and even competes nationally, she is proud of her progress but is increasingly disturbed by her mother's tendency to fawn over her. From Waverly's perspective, Lindo is using her daughter to show off. This contention forms the primary conflict of the story and creates a tension that is very akin to the chess games that Waverly has mastered so easily.

After a particularly embarrassing and infuriating incident at the market, Waverly decides to run from her mother into the alleys surrounding her community. She soon realizes that not only does she have nowhere to go, but is also no longer being chased. Waverly...

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