Lost in Translation: Analysis of Corruption in Chinglish

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Lost in Translation: Corruption in Chinglish Chinglish is a 2011 American play written by David Henry Hwang that highlights the difficulties an American businessman encounters when attempting to secure a sign-making contract in China. In the play, Daniel Cavanaugh, the owner of Ohio Signage must learn to navigate the cultural and business waters of China. Daniel hopes to earn a contract to make the signs for the Cultural Center with the help of Peter Timms, a professor and self-proclaimed cultural consultant. While Peter fails to help Daniel, and in fact causes his image more harm than good, he does teach Daniel about "Guanxi," or the importance of business relationships (The Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center). While the play is intended to be a comedy, a pervading theme in Chinglish is corruption. The first instance of corruption can be seen at the beginning of the play through the character Peter Timms. Peter Timms is corrupt in multiple ways. First, he convinces Daniel that he is a business consultant that will help him to get the Cultural Center sign contract because he has connections, or rather, Guanxi. In this first instance, Peter's corruption is demonstrated in the way he presents himself. He is not a business consultant and is, in fact, attempting to take advantage of Daniel's ignorance regarding Chinese business practices and culture. Peter states that when he first arrived in China he overcompensated his image because the Chinese expect "you to be a rich

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