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Fish Cheeks Analysis

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“Fish Cheeks” Summary/Analysis Essay


Did you ever want to “disappear” from a place? Amy Tan did. In the personal essay “Fish Cheeks” written by Amy Tan, Amy wants to disappear when she having the dinner with her family. In “Fish Cheeks”, you can find that what will happen when someone is crushing on somebody, and how the teenage ashamed of their family.

Amy Tan’s short story “ Fish Cheeks”, which was first published in 1987 in the magazine Seventeen, is about a young girl who is ashamed of her Chinese heritage & culture. Amy has a crush on Robert, the son of the manager. Amy’s parents invite Robert and his family to come to their home to have the Christmas Eve dinner, but Amy doesn’t want them to come because of she afraid that Robert and his family may think that she is strange. Amy feels shame about her family and the Chinese culture during this meal. When Amy’s father gives Amy the soft meat that below the fisheye, Amy wants to leave. After the meal, Amy’s father belched loudly. He explains to the guests that it is the “polite Chinese custom” to show that they are all enjoying the meal. And Amy doesn’t respect anything to her father. After every guest had gone, Amy’s mother talks to Amy and explain to her, although she is an American since her father and mother are Chinese, she also is a Chinese, and she needs to be proud she is different from other American girls.

In this story, Amy shows us how we are blind when we are having a crush on someone. People not only cannot see the disadvantages of people who they have a crush on but also cannot be aware of what is happening from their surrounding when they are having a crush on someone. In the Christmas Eve dinner, because Amy crush on Robert, the minister’s son, she only concentrates on Robert. Such as what he would think about Amy and her family, will he think that they are strange, also will he feel disappointed when he sees not a roasted turkey and sweet potatoes on the table but Chinese food. Amy only focuses on what Robert thinks and how he feels during the dinner. In the whole story, we can see that Amy writes lots of sentences to say that she is embarrassed by her family and the Chinese culture. Does she really dislike her family and the culture? I think the answer is not. Since Amy’s father remembers what is his daughter's favorite food, the fish cheeks, and offers it to her, and Amy’s mother chooses all Amy’s favorite foods for the dinner, that almost all the foods are Chinese food, you can find that there is a good relationship between Amy and her family, and also the Chinese culture.

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