Fish Cheeks By Amy Tan

Decent Essays
Amy Tan’s short story, Fish Cheeks, outlines the general idea of self-acceptance. As the narrator, fourteen year old Tan declares her love for her minister’s son, Robert, who unlike herself, is “as white as Mary in the manger” (Tan 1). This crush is anything but healthy, primarily because Tan is reluctant to reveal her true self to him. This hesitance she portrays is strikingly recognizable in the teenagers of today’s world. Amy Tan 's story, "Fish Cheeks," is significant to the adolescents of today 's society through the overall structure, quality, and applicability of the piece as the struggle to accept oneself as an individual is still as present as it ever was.
As the story develops, the reader’s thoughts are guided by the structure of the piece in a way that Tan is able to share an important lesson through the form of a personal narrative. The opening text immediately introduces the narrator and her insecurities as she wishes for a “slim new American nose” (Tan 1). The story initially takes on a negative tone as Tan proceeds to have a negative outlook throughout the entire evening. Her overwhelming anxiety can almost be felt by the reader as she worries what Robert will think of her “noisy Chinese relatives who lacked proper American manners” and overall “shabby Chinese Christmas” (Tan 1). With the tone set, Tan continues to amplify each dreadful detail of her family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner. This includes the actual meal, that of which appeared to be
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