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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Reflection on Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan

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Reflection On Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan

The story "Fish Cheeks" is about a time in Tan's life when she had a crush on a boy named Robert. In the short story, Amy talks about her embarrassment about Robert's family coming over for Christmas Eve dinner. She also wonders what Robert would think of their Chinese Christmas Eve feast. For Amy's mom, Christmas Eve is spent preparing various dishes, such as squid, tofu, fish cheeks, and other non-American favorites. She considered these to be dishes that were not typical American meals. This made her feel anxious as she thought about what Robert might think. Amy was embarrassed to be Chinese. Her mom noticed Tan's behavior and addressed her, stating that she should feel proud of her culture. The mom also told Amy that she should be happy to be whoever she is. Although Amy did not understand what her mom was trying to teach her that night, she eventually grew to like her mother's teaching. Despite Amy's conservative beliefs about American lifestyle and etiquette, her mother was right. Chinese culture is both culturally and morally acceptable in the US. In this essay, I will talk about the importance of celebrating a holiday with family and friends and sharing an appreciation for one another. Using the story of Tan, I will also show how I agree with her "being American".

When her relatives arrived at her house, Tan was embarrassed by how her relatives would eat and reach over the table to various dishes instead of passing them around the table as Robert's family would have done. Tan's mom then declared that she made the fish cheeks because she was her favorite dish. During dinner, Tan's dad belched noisily as he did after every meal, which was considered

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