In the essay fish cheeks, tan focuses on the two cultures: American and Chinese. She focuses on the differences and similarities of the two cultures despite the latter being less noticeable. She focuses on using the imagery of common American conception to portray her ideas.
For example in the first paragraph she uses the image of Christmas repeatedly. She uses mary from the nativity story to help describe Robert. Afterwards she shows us the time and setting of her story, Christmas and somehow relating to this man named Robert. She starts off explaining that he will be spending time within her household for the holidays. This is where she starts showing the contrast between American and chinese culture.
Starting with an image of what common American food is like during this season (turkey and sweet potato) she introduces to us an image familiar to all of us. She then goes on to show us the huge difference by showing a highly descriptive rendering of her mom’s preparation for the dinner. She makes it sound strange to us by focusing on the look of the food prior to it being cooked.
Her next focus was on the eating habits of his family. She focuses on the parts of their culture that is commonly referred to as rude in the eyes of American culture. This shows a greater contrast by showing us scenes we may consider gruesome. She however leaves out any sense of similarity to the American way of eating. For example, she made us visualize her father as rude with the “loud belch” after dinner as a courtesy to the cook. She further explains this by her father saying it is common courtesy to show appreciation to the cook. Although this is true, she doesn’t show that in American culture they do have their own way of showing gratitude with a simple thank you. This alienates the experience further for the reader.
At the end of the story she then explains that she herself misunderstood a part of their night. She saw the menu as a strange and weird, but upon further...