Acquiescence by Zoe

 

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American Born Chinese, page 194

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American Born Chinese, page 29

 

 

 

 In the book American Born Chinese written by Gene Luen Yang the characters are all trying to change themselves to fit into whichever category they fell they fall into socially. Jin, a second generation Chinese American aspires to be the perfect all-American boy. He see the other white boys who are popular and have girlfriends and associates their race and the style with becoming popular and getting friends. He starts by getting a perm just as he had seen the popular boy do. After realizing that the perm didn’t make him any cooler he transforms into Danny; the perfect all-American boy with friends who fits in with everyone else in is school. The Monkey King is a god who tries to go to a party but is not let in after he is told he needs shoes to get in. Even though putting on shoes was an easy fix he takes this comment of needing shoes as an attack on his character and decides to change himself. He trains and masters that art of kung fu hoping that he will be able to fit in with the other gods. Throughout his training however he changed himself not only physically but fundamentally as a person. He traps himself in a mountain for 500 years trying to get back to who he used to be, his true self. In the end however the characters both realize that being who they truly are is the only way they can be happy. Changing themselves wasn’t the way to go because by changing your self you are essentially forfeiting your soul in the words of the herbalist’s wife ( a character in the book) . After both characters return to who they used to be they have a newfound appreciation for themselves and their personal identities.

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