Identity In Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese

1374 Words 6 Pages
Nothing is more inherent and constant to the human experience than childhood, it is impossible to become a person without first developing a sense of self and a way of being. And it is impossible to do that without first being young. We spend our childhoods dealing with the conflict between our internal personal values, and the variety of external values and expectations pushed upon us. Both Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel American Born Chinese and Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye deal with children and young adults wrestling with their relationships with their own ideals and the unreachable expectations but on them by their parents, and peers, but also the culture as a whole. The tumultuous journey of discovering one's own Identity is only …show more content…
Take Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel American Born Chinese. The novel has three casts of characters, all who tell a similar story about identity and sense of self. The monkey king who tries to prove his worth by becoming like a god and hence not like a monkey, mirrors jin a young chinese american boy growing up in an american school wishing to be like his white classmates. Along with that there are obvious parallels to the sitcom “everyone ruvs chin-kee” a show about a white american high schooler whose reputation is ruined by his visiting chinese cousin and the other two stories. All these sections overlap with each other conceptually and, later in the novel, plot wise. The monkey king decides he wants to become a god, but after he takes the necessary step to reach the level of a god, the other gods reject him because he is a monkey. From this point on the monkey king stops dedicating is time to protecting and leading the monkeys, but instead to proving himself to the other gods not only as a god but as the most powerful god. The narrator makes an

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