Amy Tan Fish Cheeks

Categories: Amy Tan

Amy Tan and Maya Angelou come from exceptionally different cultures, and trying to feel accepted in American Culture. Both authors discuss a sensation of being a castaway and how their cultural distinctions set them apart. Nevertheless, Amy Tan effectively utilizes narrative and description to portray her sense of seclusion from the dominant American culture.

Angelou's story is set in the South during the 1930's when bigotry was popular in society and an appropriate practice. Angelou's composing mostly explains the reaction of the audience as they listen to the boxing match.

She does not explain in detail on how this battle impacts her or what it implies to those around her. Her writing offers the reader a sense of enjoyment and anxiousness, but it does not depict her sense of seclusion from the dominant culture.

Tan's story occurs in California throughout the 1960's. She feels ashamed about her Chinese culture when she is confronted with having a boy she likes and his family over for Christmas dinner.

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Tan explains in vibrant information her distinctions and humiliation that she feels about being various from the Anglo culture. Tan better explains her own seclusion from social standards than Angelou. She explains her sensation and responses to everything leading up to, throughout and after the Christmas dinner.

Tan’s descriptive detail of her feelings throughout the evening effectively portrays her feelings of isolation and being different from the dominant American culture. The reader feels her humiliation and despair. This is evident when she describes the foods she loves in disgust and how she worries about her family’s manners at the dinner table.

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Angelou describes the emotions of the people around her and does not focus on her own feelings. Her focus is on the crowd’s emotions during the fight and their celebration following the win. The reader does not feel the same sense of isolation that Tan portrays.

Angelo’s story describes the thoughts and feelings of her community during a boxing match. However, she does not focus on her own sense of isolation from the dominant American culture. Tan’s story describes her embarrassment and fear of humiliation because she is different from her peer. She desperately wants to fit into the dominant American culture and is embarrassed by everything her culture and family represents during the Christmas

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Amy Tan Fish Cheeks. (2016, Jun 07). Retrieved from

Amy Tan Fish Cheeks essay
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