Alike or unalike?

How much time do you spend on the thing you love the most? Waverly, from the short story “Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan, spends hours and hours on her passion – chess – every day. The short story is about a girl called Waverly who is an American born Chinese. She starts falling in love with chess and gets so good at it, she ends up competing at chess competitions. Waverly, the protagonist of the short story, is very similar to me in the aspects of personality, appearance and family.


Amy Tan’s characterization of Waverly portrays her as very curious, hardworking and focused. When Waverly first learnt how to play chess, she was very curious and instantly fell in love. She was asking her brother Vincent ‘“Why? Why can’t they move more steps? Why do they go crossways to take other men? Why aren’t there any women or children?”’ (Tan 4). This shows that Waverly is the kind of person who wants to investigate a lot in to things she loves. In the rising action, even though her brother Vincent didn’t tell her the answers of these questions, she didn’t give up. She started researching about all the little details of chess. Even though Waverly always lost all her games at the beginning, she never gave up and at the end she became the best: “I lost many games and many Life Savers. But over the weeks, with each diminishing roll of candies, I added new secret” (6).  Waverly was a very wise young girl; she wasn’t scared of losing because she knew that making mistakes helps you succeed in the future. Waverly’s mom would tie her hair tightly every morning before she went to school: “My mother would twist and yank on my thick black hair until she had formed two tightly wound pigtails” (2). My first impression of Waverly was of her pigtails, thick black hair and how she was six years old. Waverly’s mom cares about her a lot but sometimes it can be a bit over the top, she would tell Waverly things like “Next time win more, lose less” (7) when she knows nothing about chess. I can see that her mom is very proud of her, but she needs to let Waverly just do her thing.


I’m a lot like Waverly in general. I’m very focused and I always put a lot of effort in to everything I do. If you ask any of my teachers last year, you’ll know that I’m a perfectionist, I will try my best to make something as good as it can be. When I’m focused on something, nothing can make me distracted. When I was younger I looked like Waverly, every morning I use to make my mom pull my thick, long black hair in to tight pigtails and use colorful hair ties to tie them up, I wouldn’t leave the house without my hair tied in to pigtails! My mom treats me very similar to how Waverly’s mom treats her sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom, but sometimes she cares about me so much she’ll do what Waverly’s mom is doing. I use to swim, and every time I came back from swim practice, my mom would start telling me about the stuff I should do to improve when she actually doesn’t know how to swim at all, just like how Waverly’s mom was telling her to do things when she actually doesn’t know how to play chess at all. Overall I feel like I can relate to Waverly sometimes and I think I’m a lot like her.27417514836_b93c9c64ce_s

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