“American Born Chinese” is a graphic story book written by the novel-writer Gene Luen Yang with three narratives that seem unrelated at the beginning but become creatively linked together at the end. These distinct stories are of Monkey King in the first narrative stand, Jin Wang in the second, and Danny and Chin-Kee in the third. This paper aims at explaining how cultural experiences shape, impact and influence Jin Wang’s perception of the world.
Jin Wang’s cultural experience with the all-Americans influenced his perception of the world in a negative way.
American born Chinese
The story of Jin Wang is the second strand in the novel, about the fit-generation American boy with ethnic background of China. He has recently moved to an all American school and seeks to fit in. His experience in the school is not so good as he faces prejudice from his classmates as well as teacher. From the first day he experiences bullying, with his teacher calling him Jing Jang and only corrects herself after Jin tells her the name again. She also incorrectly tells the other students that Jin and the family just moved from China recently. When one classmate comments that Chinese eat dogs, the teacher affirms it by saying Jin had stopped from the moment he landed in America (Yang, 33-34). These experiences of prejudice and discrimination shaped Jin’s perception of the world in a wrong way.
Jin is in search of identity within the culture that he finds himself as well as his past culture without success as he is always as an outsider especially by his fellow Americans. When Wei-Chen, a new student with Asian origin comes into the school, Jin is immediately associated with him although at first he does not want anything to do with him. Suzy Nakamura is a Japanese but the students associate them but when it came to their realization that they were not related, new rumors started spreading that they were to marry. “We avoided each other as much as possible.” (Yang, 31). After all these experiences, Jin’s view of the world is completely turned around and he moves from hating himself and wanting to be a white boy to accepting and becoming comfortable with Chinese things.
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Yang, Gene L, and Lark Pien. American Born Chinese. New York: First Second, 2006. Print.
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