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How Gene Luen Yang's Life contributes To the Novel American Born Chinese - Essay Example

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How Gene Luen Yang’s Life contributes To the Novel “American Born Chinese” Overview of the Novel The aim of Gene Luen Yang’s novel “American Born Chinese,” is to fit in. When he moves to a new neighborhood with his family, he finds out that, in the school, he is the only Chinese-American student…
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How Gene Luen Yang's Life contributes To the Novel American Born Chinese

Download file to see previous pages... Monkey King is a master of the kung-fu arts, and this makes him be adored by his subjects and the most powerful monkey on the earth. However, the Monkey King wants to be recognized as god and not a monkey. Chin-Kee is a typical Chinese stereotype and he keeps on ruining his cousin’s (Danny) life. Danny is a great basketball player and a famous kid at school. However, each year Chin-Kee visits; he is forced to transfer to another school so that he escapes the shame. These three unrelated stories make up the comic novel “American Born Chinese” (Barnes&Noble 1). Themes The main theme in the comic novel is the attempt to fit in. There is tension between cultural forces and the essential self. In the storyline “Everyone Ruvs Chin-Kee,” American stereotypes are expressed by Gene Luen Yang’s narration as sitcom. The use of sitcom in this novel is proper because it is a genre that is mostly used in describing stereotypes. Chin-Kee as a typical Chinese is the part that Yang wants to deny in order to fit in with his white friends or peers. Chin-Kee offers nothing important to others in the context of the Chinese culture. This is because he is antiquated and dressed in the Chinese attire, speaks in Chinese accent, and instigates practices that the westerners find to be detestable (Pulliam 1). Chin-Kee eats cats and he is intensely patriarchal. He wants to look for an American girl who is big-breasted and whose feet he is able to bind so that he can have children with her. He plays horrible jokes on his peers, and he does not at all understand proper western behavior. Although Chin-Kee conforms to the stereotypic culture that all Asians are smart, in his case, the knowledge he has, is not useful at all. All the knowledge he has, is to popularize himself in the class and this makes him a laughing stock in an American high school. Yang has become completely assimilated as a Caucasian just like his parents. When it is time for Chin-Kee to leave, each of the parents believes that Chin-Kee is the relative of the other. This demonstrates the degree Jin’s parents have become assimilated (Pulliam 1). The Monkey King story represents the instance of Yang in regard to whom he really is and his culture. Just like the Monkey King, Yang tries to deny his actual self. At the end, the Monkey King must humbly accept who he is just like the monk Wong Lai-Tsao. According to Wong Lai-Tsao, this is the strategy to true transcendence, and it removes the suffering. The monk (Wong Lai-Tsao), “is free of want because he is free of ego that would make him want what he cannot have” (Pulliam 1). Among the four monks, he is the only monk who has attained legendary status in ancient times and his gifts are said to be remarkable. Wong Lai-Tsao was a master of being humble unlike the other monks who were either masters of bodily needs for movement or food or master rhetoricians. The monk is able to free the Monkey King from prison; he does this by telling him to accept his monkey form and give up all the other forms. If the Monkey King could have done that a long time, he would have been freed from prison. Just like Wong Lai-Tsao, the Monkey King is happy in his true form (the monkey form). Thus, Yang can only find happiness when he accepts who he is (Pulliam 1). Style The comic novel unfolds in three sections: a modern version of the Monkey King myth; the fake-sitcom of “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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