The Characters in "Rules of the Game-.
The most interesting element in the short story "Rules of the Game- by Amy Tan is the characters. The story is completely focused on Meimei and how her life changes when she discovers the game of chess. Meimei's mother is the architect behind Meimei's success, although she does not know how to play chess. Meimei is the chess player, but her mother is playing a far more serious game, using Meimei as a puppet to prove the superiority of the Chinese people.
Even though the reader gets to know Meimei, there are very few references to her physical appearance. As to her mother, there is only one reference to her appearance at the end of the story. .
There are a lot of other characters in the story, but you never get to know them. They seem like diffuse phantoms moving around in an inspired and detailed description of San Francisco's Chinatown. .
Throughout the story the author avoids describing the minor characters, which leaves them as anonymous as chess pieces. In this way the reader cannot expect any of them to interfere with the plot and the relationship between Meimei and her mother, which enables the author to tell the story at a faster pace. The author concentrates on the two main characters. She only uses the minor characters when it's necessary to bring the story forward. .
In the opening line of the story Meimei tells us that her mother is teaching her the art of invisible strength, a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others and chess games. By getting this piece of information so early in the story, the reader understands that Meimei's mother is a wise and powerful woman who uses her knowledge of old Chinese wisdom to bring up her children and help them rise above the circumstances of her family. .
Her wisdom and her strength stand in deep contrast to her knowledge of the English language and her way of expressing herself by using short but powerful sentences when talking to other people.