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Amy Tan's Short Essay Fish Cheeks

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The short essay “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan is an autobiographical short essay describing the experience of Amy, a fourteen-year-old American-Chinese girl, at an embarrassing dinner party her family hosted. One of the people invited was her crush, an American pastor’s son, and, because of the cultural difference, he did not understand the table manners or the food choices of the Chinese diners. Through this embarrassing experience- showing how different her culture and, by extension, she was to her crush- she learned to accept her native Chinese culture, even if she did want to assimilate into the new, American culture. Throughout the short essay, Tan repeatedly reiterates her embarrassment throughout the night’s party using vivid word choice.
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