Stereotypes In Amy Tan's Fish Cheeks

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Have you ever been shocked by how strange your friend’s families are? I know that I have, many times before. Once, when I was around seven years old, I visited my friend Seth’s house. When I inquired about when we would have dinner, I learned from Seth that his family does not have a unified dinner, rather, each member of the family consumes their own food in their own space. How strange is that? Coming from a family that had dinner together whenever possible, it was about as strange as it could get, but I am sure you have experienced much stranger. Each family has its distinctive lifestyle. Some families are tight knit. They share everything with each other, just like my mother’s side of the family does. My experience with this version of…show more content…
A great instance of families supporting each other is in Amy Tan’s Fish Cheeks. In Fish Cheeks, Tan is a young girl who is embarrassed by her Chinese heritage, when an American boy she is infatuated with is invited for dinner. The dinner is a traditional Chinese one, which Tan later informs the readers were her own favorite foods. Tan tells the readers that “For Christmas Eve that year, (Tan’s mother) had chosen all of (her) favorite foods”(111.8), and so the reader gets the message that the family is supporting of each other. When Tan was apprehensive about supporting her cultural heritage, her mother gave her the guidance she needed, and taught her a great lesson on cultural appreciation. In contrast to this is Sarah Vowell’s Shooting Dad. In Shooting Dad, Vowell, the narrator, describes her countless fruitless arguments with her own father concerning gun ownership. The readers learn that Vowell and her father have opposite view on anything gun related at all. “All he ever cared about were guns. All I ever cared about was art” (165.7) Vowell describes a disconnection with her father, as she could not appreciate his hobby, and in turn, bond with him. Eventually, this disconnection is remedied when Vowell and her father share a moment when they first fire off a hand cannon. In Vowell’s own words, “It’s just really, really cool. My dad thought so, too” (168.7). Eventually, Vowell shared a moment with her father, and Vowell shows how even the families with the greatest differences find some way to bond. By looking at both Fish Cheeks and Shooting Dad, we see how two families could be so essentially different from each other in their

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