A world once filled with Asian friends and neighbors crashes harshly as Jin is left stranded in a white dominated school. Stereotypes and teasing are quickly placed on him from his racial background. Still new to the area, Jin presumes, “The only other Asian in my class was Suzy Nakamura. When the class finally figured out that we weren’t related, rumors began to circulate that Suzy and I were arranged to be married on her thirteenth birthday. We avoided each other as much as possible” (Yang 31). Embarrassment clouds Jin as he realizes that he’s not like the other kids in his class. With distinct features and his native tongue, Jin felt like a reject surrounded by his Caucasian classmates. He was entirely alone amongst his peers, and he didn’t like that one single bit. In this way, it’s clear how both Junior and Jin felt like outcasts in these two oceans of white students and teachers.
What this novel does not touch on is the harsh levels of discrimination that some Asian-American families faced during the 20th centuries, some people telling at them to go back to Vietnam, Korea, or wherever they came from, some refusing service, perhaps throwing them out for being different, similarly to how African-Americans were treated during that time, and similar to how some Muslims are being treated today. However, more insidious than moments of outright hostility, and maybe more powerful, are the constant weak reminders that you’re different, that you’re not one of them. The “sign at the Peking Express” (Ng 193), the “little boys on the playground, stretching their eyes to slits with their fingers” (Ng 193), you even “saw it when waitresses and policemen and bus drivers spoke slowly to you, in simple words, as if you might not understand” (Ng 193). All these tiny things, these little reminders that you’re not the same as everyone else around you, may have more impact on the people being discriminated against than blatant in-your-face
For instance, Jin is alienated due to the sole fact of his appearance, which happens to be different from the rest of the class. Moreover, Jin’s roots create assumptions, or stereotypes, rather. As stated earlier, his classmates thought he ate digs because he was Asian, resulting because of his appearance. When acting as Danny, he was not suspected for being Asian, because he looked like the typical American kid, but when Chin-Knee came he detailed Chinese stereotypes so humorously that Danny was made fun of because of his cousin, another form of racism. For example, Danny had to switch schools because he was made fun of so much, and he stated, “By the time he leaves, no one thinks of me as Danny anymore. I’m Chin-Knee’s cousin”(127). This statement shows how bad Chin-Knee has an effect on Danny and his social life. He is constantly degraded with guffaws about China and his cousin, and despite Danny’s American roots, he is faced with racism because of his cousin. Therefore, race really is the problem, for Danny is ostracized about Chinese culture, and Jin is ostracized because of his
Jin Wang was born in America but is also Chinese. He faces some difficulties with racism and stereotypes as he grows up. He just moved to a new school from San Francisco. The teacher introduces him to the class and says,” Class, I'd like us all to give a warm Mayflower Elementary welcome to your new friend and Classmate Jin Wang...He and his family recently moved to our neighborhood all the way from China!”(30). Jin has this look on his face of annoyance. Like, did she actually say this. She is too ignorant to ask so she just assumed that since he is Chinese, that he must be from China. He was born in America. This just shows how ignorant people are about other cultures. It makes it even harder to fit in if people don't even care where you're from and just make assumptions. Jin now experiences this first hand. He tries so hard to fit in and be normal. He goes as far as changing his hair to match the guys hair that Amelia likes. When he isn't noticed as much he wants to become someone else, someone who will fit in. He wakes up in the morning a new person, as he has transformed into someone he is not, he thinks to himself,”A new face deserved a new name. I decided to call myself...Danny”(198). He changed his race he didn't like his heritage and cultures so much
His foolish acts get him into five hundred years of trouble at the hands of Tze-Yo-Tzuh, and the Monkey King must then rely on the trust of a stranger to lead him toward redemption. In another story, Danny is a popular athletic teenager whose life is amazing until his cousin Chin-Kee arrives from China. Chin-Kee is the epitome of Chinese stereotypes—eating cat gizzards, excelling in classes, speaking in broken English—and Danny wants to hide him away and pretend he does not exist. But Chin-Kee ends up going to school with Danny every day, ruining Danny’s reputation. American Born Chinese undergoes phases of identity crises that are coupled with some sort of mental or physical transformation. This is a great novel to explore the diversity of students and how different elements affect their culture. The big question of the unit also allows for students to recognize stereotypes in order to see the implications that can have on the people the labels are placed on and how some labels may be placed on them for having a particular quality, gender, race, etc. The ending and tone of the novel also will help students with recognizing the need for accepting others while seeing that every person should seek for his or her own
Acceptance within American Born Chinese by Gene Yang is scattered everywhere within the book. It’s in each story within many situations. One of them telling about a challenging and treacherous journey across hundreds of miles of terrain. All of the main characters reveal so much power of acceptance while I was reading through each chapter of the book. To clarify the many events within the novel I will analyze and relate my experiences as a soldier to the journeys of the Monkey Key, Jin, and finally the monk.
“China has become the U.S.' most important trading partner (Ito, 2009). Additionally, China has surpassed India to become the top country sending students to study in the U.S.” (A Comparative Look at Chinese and American Stereotypes). Now in our modern day world, there have been many stereotypes built up around Chinese people or immigrants. Pre-existing views or perceptions about a certain ethnic group, culture or race will certainly affect and drive interactions with people of that certain culture. Since stereotypes are usually very broad and are long-lasting, many of these” expectations” are outdated/antiquated. My research proposal mainly focuses on the danger of seeing all Chinese immigrants in one way, mainly the idea that all Chinese are smart, nerdy and unathletic. This specific topic interested me as growing up as a Chinese person in Canada, I have seen and experienced the extent that preexisting perceptions can influence people's views and actions. I suspected that through my research I would find that not all Chinese people fit the stereotype and can “break the mould” given to them. For research and information, I went onto many articles and news sites. My research confirmed that the classic, traditional stereotypes for Chinese people definitely do not represent the entire population.
Could you take a guess and tell from what culture a person is from by just listening to their voice? Could you also tell by looking to their appearance; The way they dress, the color of their skin, facial features? What about the way they carry their selves? Just like “The Chinese in All of Us” by Richard Rodriguez where he explains that he feels connected to all the cultures around America, with its “culture, a sound, an accent, a walk.” (Rodriguez 730). It does not mean and require that you must look a certain way to belong to a certain culture.
All women are too sensitive! All Mexicans are illegal immigrants! If you’re from the South, then you are ignorant! Most people have heard at least one of these stereotypes pertaining to a certain group. Some people believe them whilst others do not. American Born Chinese illustrates three stories depicting the custom of stereotypes surrounding society: “The Monkey King”, the story of Monkey King’s thirst for infinite power, and his quest for atonement; “Jin Wang”, the story an awkward boy who tries to “fit in” the community around from but constantly fails; and “Danny”, the story about a high schooler who feels uncomfortable by his stereotypically negative Chinese cousin Chin-Kee. In this day-and-age, stereotypes are what bring people
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
Gene Luen Yang’s writing style in his graphic novel, American Born Chinese, demonstrate great technique of suspense and foreshadowing. Yang grew up with two parents who were an electrical engineer from Taiwan and a programmer who grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan, both of whom emigrated to the United States. His experiences follow this book’s plot and his writing style follows exactly how he may have felt during that part of his life. His parents helped give him a strong work ethic and reinforced their Asian culture to make sure he was never ashamed of where he came from.
In his essay “Paper Tigers,” Wesley Yang discusses his own experiences as an Asian American, tying them into the larger picture of Asians functioning in American society today. Yang’s argument is that even though Asian Americans are one of the most successful ethnicities in the country, stereotypes that Asian Americans are exposed to affect the way other Americans view them. Because of personal bias and racism, human society fails to see other people for who they are and put too much emphasis on what they are supposed to or not supposed to be in America today. Stereotypes cloud people’s vision and judgment and keep some from achieving their goals because others have a pre-created
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
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,