Why do you think Amy Tan called the story "Rules of the Game"?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are two interpretations of the title "Rules of the Game"--one literal, the other figurative.  From a literal perspective, "Rules of the Game" refers to the rules of chess that Waverly learns to master while she plays with first her brothers and later her competitors.  Waverly becomes a chess champion because she feels in-sync with the game and its strategies.  However, this sync is broken when she begins to feel embarrassed by her mother's public sense of pride.  She does not understand why her mother must broadcast her accomplishments to all whom she knows.  To get back at her mother, Waverly decides to quit playing chess.  When she decides to play again, it is without her mother's blessing, and Waverly fails to continue her championship reign.  Here, the figurative meaning of the title comes into play--Waverly does not understand the "rules of the game" of life that dictate her relationship with her mother.  Waverly still has much to learn about life and relationships, and this is evident in the story.