Richard Rodriguez article, “The Chinese in All of Us (1944)”, argues that many different cultures have contributed to making up the American culture. Rodriguez backs up this claim by sharing
People always seem to be changing themselves because they want the approval of others and are worried what others think of them. They aren't happy about who they are, maybe its looks, or maybe its race that they are concerned about, either way people try to change who they are. In ABC, the author Yang reveals many common stereotypes about chinese people and the struggle they might have in fitting in. Chin-kee one of the main characters is very stereotypical and impacts Danny and Jin’s life greatly. Jin Wang the main character faces some problems fitting in because of his race and the stereotypes associated with it and changes himself in order to fit in.
Four Chinese mothers have migrated to America. Each hope for their daughter’s success and pray that they will not experience the hardships faced in China. One mother, Suyuan, imparts her knowledge on her daughter through stories. The American culture influences her daughter, Jing Mei, to such a degree that it is hard for Jing Mei to understand her mother's culture and life lessons. Yet it is not until Jing Mei realizes that the key to understanding who her
Yet internal conflicts and other circumstances within families would bring up complexities within family identity. Due to the Chinese Exclusion Acts, it was impossible for any Chinese man to immigrate legally to the United States without having a blood relation already present. Thus many turned to the "paper son" route which had a resident immigrant in the U.S. sponsor a Chinese man in China as their son. The Chinese man would have to memorize the facts of their sponsor family to pass as a reasonably accurate son. In return for their entrance, paper sons were obligated to return the bones, eponymous with the title of the Ng's book, of their sponsors to China. Such practices caused a literal confusion in identity, and furthermore
Since its founding, the United States has attracted immigrants from all over the world and consists of a variety of different cultures. Immigration has had an enormous impact on American society and economy and shaped the country remarkably.
Stories and stereotypes make many people want to change themselves negatively and assimilate just to fit in with society. As time passes, society’s stereotypes for how people of each race should be, which race is more dominant than others, and which race you should be, all play a role in impacting someone’s self-esteem and their insecurities. This is portrayed through Jin Wang, a main character in Gene Luen Yang’s “American Born Chinese” when Jin Wang thinks his crush, Amelia, he instantly becomes happy. But then he thinks about Greg and Amelia together and gets mad. He finally zooms into Greg’s blond hair. The next day he goes to school with the same hairstyle. The hair symbolizes Greg’s all American identity because the stereotypical American is portrayed with blond hair and blue eyes. To Jin Wang, this hair symbolizes what he wants to be, so he changed his hair to an “American” hairstyle to get Amelia to like him. Due to stereotypes about how Americans are suppose to look like, Jin Wang feels insecure about himself and wants to change his identity and himself as well to assimilate into American culture and stereotypes. These stereotypes and the Anti-Asian stereotypes impact Jin Wang greatly and make him hate himself as well as his background and where he came from because he believes that in order to be AMerica, you have to be white. Another way that this is portrayed is from a personal experience I had as a kid. Growing up as an Asian kid in America, I didn’t really know
The Chinese Experience records the history of the Chinese in the United States. The three-part documentary shows how the first arrivals from China, their descendants, and recent immigrants have “become American.” It is a story about identity and belonging that is relative to all Americans. The documentary is divided into three programs, each with a focus on a particular time in history. Program 1 describes the first arrivals from China, beginning in the early 1800’s and ending in 1882, the year Congress passed the first Chinese exclusion act. Program 2, which details the years of exclusion and the way they shaped and distorted Chinese American
Sui Sin Far’s short story, “In the Land of the Free” touches on the reality of being a Chinese immigrant in late-19th century America. The story revolves around a Chinese couple. The husband is ready for his wife, Lae Choo, to arrive from China with their new son, later named Kim. However, due to policies on immigration, the American government was forced to take possession of the child due to a lack of paperwork. However, Far’s short-story has a deeper meaning than just focusing on unfair immigration policies. She takes advantage of the story’s ending to symbolize a rejection of immigrant culture, most especially Chinese immigrant culture, by taking advantage of Kim’s change in behaviors, appearance, and dialect.
The tale “American Born Chinese” by Gene Luch Wang depicts the story of three characters, Monkey, Jin, and Danny. They all have the problem of fitting into their new environments. Jin Wang has to deal with Asian stereotypes. Danny has to deal with embarrassment of his cousin. Lastly, Monkey has to deal with the fact that there is no position for him in the heavenly ranks. However, over time, these characters have to come together to fit in. Yet the question remains: what exactly about fitting in is the problem? Although Jin Wang takes the form of Danny to reject his Chinese roots, the embarrassment of Chin-Knee shows he cannot hide behind a false American identity, thereby delineating that race is the source of his problem.
Fae Myenne Ng is a contemporary Chinese-American author who is known for her first written novel, Bone. Her debut novel was published in 1993 and the story is told through the eyes of the main character, Leila Leong. Leila tells the story of her family’s history and the events that unfold following the suicide of her sister. As Leila’s story progresses, themes of identity and family life are revealed. Leila and her two sisters border the line between American and Chinese, two distinct cultures that belong to very different worlds. The sisters deal with the struggles of assimilation as they grow up in the seclusive community of Chinatown only to live in an American world. The family life of the Leong
The first documented Chinese woman to arrive in the United States was Afong Moy, in 1834. She was brought by white people to be displayed in the American Museum. Dressed in Chinese clothing, she was meant to display Chinese customs, manners, and lifestyles, showing the Americans how different a “celestial lady” looked from a Western woman. This spirit of Westerners viewing Chinese people as separate from themselves would go on to isolate Chinese immigrants as they continued to immigrate to America. The Chinese would continue to be thought of as inferior, or part of an “other” group by white settlers. Chinese women in particular were fetishized and demeaned -- looked upon as a whole as prostitutes -- when in reality they played many different roles in society and in
Phil Yu is a Korean American blogger, speaker and writer. He is also the founder and editor of his own website called “Angry Asian Man” for the past sixteen years. His website covers news, culture and perspectives from the Asian American community in the United States. On April 5, 2017, Phil Yu came to Iowa State University to host a lecture about his website especially his journey to Asian American identity, arts and activism in the Sun Room located in the Memorial Union.
The focus of our group project is on Chinese Americans. We studied various aspects of their lives and the preservation of their culture in America. The Chinese American population is continually growing. In fact, in 1990, they were the largest group of Asians in the United States (Min 58). But living in America and adjusting to a new way of life is not easy. Many Chinese Americans have faced and continue to face much conflict between their Chinese and American identities. But many times, as they adapt to this new life, they are also able to preserve their Chinese culture and identity through various ways. We studied these things through the viewing of a movie called Joy Luck Club,
In the mid 19th century, America was viewed as a hotspot for freedom and wealth. When the noise of the gold rush flooded the world, immigrants started to see America more appetizing than ever. The Chinese saw America as a place to have a fresh start and as a place of refuge because of it’s generosity, so they immigrated to the west in great numbers. There was a large Chinese population in Virginia and all along the Pacific coast. Writers Mark Twain and Maxine Hong Kingston both wrote in great detail about the Chinese Immigrants. They went into detail about the immigrants and how they came over and why. Although Twain and Kingston both wrote about the immigrants in a positive light, Twain was sympathetic of the immigrants and Kingston focused more on their image and her ancestors.
As humans, we face conflicts everyday. When we come across these conflicts, we have different conflict handling modes. Some compete, accommodate, avoid, compromise, and others collaborate. These modes either help resolve a problem or create a bigger one. In the book The Joy Luck Club, it explores a cultural conflict with the first generation Chinese- Americans and their mothers.