Illustration of the profiles of a young woman and an older woman facting away from each other

The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

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Rules of the Game Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. When Waverly wants the salted plums, what does her mother tell her?

2. What was the inspiration for Waverly’s name?

3. How does Lindo react when Waverly asks her what Chinese torture is?

4. What gift does Waverly receive for Christmas?

5. Where does Waverly meet Lao Po?

6. How does Waverly manipulate her mother into letting her compete in a local chess tournament?

7. In what ways does Lindo encourage Waverly?

8. To whom does Lindo brag about Waverly’s success?

9. When Waverly says she wishes Lindo wouldn’t tell everyone she is her daughter, what does Lindo think she means?

10. How does Lindo “bite back her tongue” in the closing scene?

1. Lindo says, “Bite back your tongue” in the store. Later she adds, “Strongest wind cannot be seen.”

2. Waverly was named after the street on which the family lives; but her family calls her “Meimei” or “Little Sister,” because she is the youngest and the only girl.

3. She asks where Waverly has heard the expression. When Waverly says “some boy” at school said it, Lindo calmly replies that Chinese people are involved in all kinds of professions; they are not lazy like Americans. She also says Chinese people do the best torture there is.

4. Waverly receives a box of Life Savers.

5. She meets him in the playground at the end of the alley.

6. Waverly pretends she does not want to compete because she will lose. Lindo then insists that she try.

7. Lindo gives Waverly her chang, displays her trophies, offers advice on playing chess, lets he compete in tournaments farther and farther from home, makes her two new dresses, makes her brothers do her chores, makes her brothers sleep in the living room, does not insist that she clean her plate, and brags about her.

8. Lindo tells everyone she sees about Waverly’s success.

9. Lindo thinks Waverly is ashamed or embarrassed to be her daughter.

10. When Waverly returns from running away, Lindo does not lecture or scold her. She ignores her, saying that if Waverly doesn’t care about her family, her family will not care about her.

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