American Born Chinese

Racism in "American Born Chinese" 10th Grade

As much as the public is informed of the efforts to combat racism in today’s world, Gene Luen Yang proves in his graphic novel American Born Chinese that racism exists at considerable strength today. Through three intertwining stories, Yang demonstrates the ostracization and fear alien cultures receive from a so- called “normal” society, where those who blend in are accepted. His goal remains to prove the statement that “Racism detriments ego, degrades the identity of cultures and individuals, and leads to a forced assimilation under the thumb of the so-called normal public.”

The statement above represents the journey of each character in the book, as they experience racism, lose a sense of ego, and undergo a forced assimilation. The Monkey King is perhaps the most ancient protagonist represented in the book, almost a deity, his story resounds most clearly as a personification of the beginning of the theme statement. In the beginning of the story, the Monkey King is detained by a guard under the grounds of being a monkey, and is denied admission to a heavenly party: “You may be a king - you may even be a deity - but you are still a monkey… Have a good evening sir” (Yang 15). The Monkey King subsequently gives in to an...

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