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Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan - Essay Example

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The author of the paper will begin with the statement that the issue of individuality has always been one of the most worth-discussing. In school and in the family children are usually taught to keep their individuality and not to try to behave exactly like other people…
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Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan
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The given paper will prove that for children it is first of all difficult to determine the degree their behavior should remain individual to.
In the essay, the author tells us about her own experience she got at the age of fourteen. She liked the fair-haired American boy named Robert and was sure that she does not deserve to be his girl-friend due to her Chinese nose that was not as slim as small noses of American Barbie-girls. Amy was ashamed of her Chinese traditions and was very upset when got to know that her parents invited Robert’s Family for Christmas Eve dinner. Such behavior is very typical for teenagers and it is very difficult for them to realize the worth of their individuality. The girl thought that Robert would never pay attention to her after that dinner because their Chinese traditions seemed ridiculous in comparison to American traditions. The same was about Chinese food. However, her mother had another opinion and cooked traditional Chinese dinner.
Notwithstanding that nowadays we like to visit Chinese restaurants, Amy was ashamed to even because of national food: “I saw that my mother had outdone herself in creating a strange menu. She was pulling black veins out of the backs of fleshy prawns. The kitchen was littered with appalling mounds of raw food” (Tan). During the dinner Amy was very upset because of the behavior of her relatives; it seemed that they tried to emphasize the significance of Chinese culture and kitchen. Tan states that she would rather disappear because it was difficult for her to understand what her parents mean. Her mother explained: “inside you must always be Chinese. You must be proud you are different. Your only shame is to have shame" (Tan).
Tan showed that it was rather difficult for children to understand the worth of individuality. Amy wanted to look like American so much that she was about to lose herself. Many years had passed until she understood that “slim nose” and “miniskirt” were rather unimportant things to dream about. And her mother was quite right cooking traditional dinner and insisting on traditional behavior because she already knew how important the individuality was. “I had gotten over my crush on Robert – that I was able to fully appreciate her lesson and the true purpose behind our particular menu” (Tan). Read More
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