American Born Chinese Essay

950 Words4 Pages
Graphic novels are known for being short, quick, and easy reads that aren’t “real books”. Despite fitting into this category, Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel, American Born Chinese uses three well developed stories to tackle the negative perception of Asian, and specifically Chinese culture in America. One of the stories chronicles the Chinese folk tale of the Monkey King, a kung-fu master who is loved by those who are ruled by him. However, he is discontent with his status and he wants to be a Deity, but this leads to harsh consequences. This particular third of the book is somewhat bland. The storyline is predictable and it is difficult as a reader to connect with due to how easy it is to dislike the Monkey King’s character and personality.…show more content…
Danny turns out to be Jin as who he wants to be, and Chin-See is actually the Monkey King, in disguise as his cousin so that he can visit him every year and help to guide his self-exploration and self-acceptance. By bringing all three of the stories together, the author manages to make a fairly simple message about the struggles of not fitting in much more interesting. This graphic novel is an ode to the lives of the children of immigrants in America. It is a reminder of the struggles, the fear, the lack of acceptance, and the blatant racism that is faced. Are the characters strong role models who can be admired as first-generation superheroes? Absolutely not; Jin treats Wei-Chen badly when they first meet because Wei-Chen was born in China, while Jin was born in America. But in a way, by showing these flaws, the author makes the stories even better for everyone, regardless of whether they’re a first-generation kid, an immigrant, or neither. Gene Luen Yang holds up these flaws on a pedestal so that readers can relate to them. This allows the message to be understood by all Americans, regardless of their status. Yang reminds readers of the dangers of racism, and the importance of accepting oneself for who they

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