American Born Chinese Book Analysis
The number of stereotypes used in media and everyday lives affects how people interact with each other in the real world. Chin-Kee’s story was in the form of a TV show. Danny is a popular American boy whose cousin Chin-Kee comes every year to visit from China (Yang 126). Chin-Kee represents how Asian-Americans feel about stereotypes. Jin-Wang is an Asian-American boy who moves from San Francisco to another American suburb; where he is teased. Jin-Wang thinks it’s ridiculous how people judge him and the people he hangs out with because of their race. Chin-Kee turns out to be the Monkey King at the end (who was also teased because he was a monkey). This shows how Chin-Kee makes American Asians feel ashamed of their culture, including Jin Wang/Danny and represents many stereotypes about the Asian culture.
People reacted to Chin-Kee in different ways. Danny starts his part of the story studying with a girl named Melanie. Melanie does not want to go out with Danny because of how Chin-Kee treated her when he arrived from the airport (Yang 50,123). The teachers liked Chin-Kee because he got all the answers right in their class (Yang 111,112,113). This made the teachers expect more from their students and that made the students be annoyed at Chin-Kee (Yang 111). People did not want to sit with Danny at lunch when they saw that he was associated with Chin-Kee (Yang 114). The same goes for how people treated Jin differently when he became friends with Wei-Chen (Yang 40). People treat Chin-Kee and the people he is associated with differently because of how he acts.
Chin-Kee represents stereotypes about Asian culture. He talks with an accent (Yang 51) and eats food that makes people assume about what Asian people eat (Yang 114). Chin-Kee dresses in clothing and spits when he talks. None of the students want to talk to Danny during lunch because of the food Chin-Kee is eating (Yang 114). Danny argues that he is nothing like Chin-Kee. Danny represents what most Asian Americans feel because of stereotypes;which is one of the reasons Jin transformed. Jin is trying to deny that he is Chinese. He wants to be the all-American jock that he has transformed into. Making himself believe that he is not Chinese is how he forfeited his soul and transformed into Danny. People don’t like Danny anymore because of how Chin-Kee acts.
Danny thinks that Chin-Kee should not act like he does because it brings unwanted attention to him. Nobody wants to interact with Danny because he is obligated to hang out with Chin-Kee. After the Chin-Kee reveals that he is the Monkey King and also reveals that Danny is Jin, he says “You misunderstand my intentions, Jin. I did not come to punish you. I came to serve as your conscience- as a signpost to your soul,” (Yang 221). Chin-Kee/Monkey King says this to help Jin that he should not try and deny that he is Chinese.
Other people cause Asian Americans to feel excluded because he acts differently than all of the other American students. He makes students feel uncomfortable because of his accent, food and the stereotypes he represents. He represents stereotypes that are not necessarily true about Asian culture.
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