The Conflict Between Waverly And Her Mother

Decent Essays

However, the conflict between Waverly and her mother is very realistic, due to the nature that many mothers and daughters have different views which causes disagreements. The people of Chinese descent have their Chinese heritage, but struggle to keep true to their traditions while living around American culture. The major conflict in the story, the clash of different cultures, leads to the weakening of the relationship between the two characters. For example, when Waverly reenters the apartment after running away, she sees the "remains of a large fish, its fleshy head still connected to bones swimming upstream in vain escape" (Tan 508). Waverly sees herself as the fish, stripped clean by her mother 's power, unable to break free. Through the major conflict, the characters struggle to keep their relationship healthy and loving. Tan explains the feelings of Waverly through an important symbolic imaginary chess game as she writes, “My white pieces screamed as they scurried and fell off the board one by one. As her men drew closer to my edge, I felt myself growing light” (508). This shows how Waverly feels about the relationship with her mother and how she is losing the battle. The conflicts are important, especially to the theme, for the conflicts shows where the lack of understanding comes from and how it can be resolved.
Amy Tan uses symbolism to show the cultures and how this interacts with the conflict of the story. One example is she used the game of chess as more than

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