American Born Chinese, By Gene Luen Yang

822 words - 4 pages

In the graphic novel American Born Chinese, written by Gene Luen Yang, there are many significant signs that symbolize meanings that challenge the reader to understand exactly what he or she may be reading. One of these signs that constantly appears is self-acceptance for one of the main characters, “Jin”. Jin is a young boy who has just moved and enrolled in Mayflower Elementary and has no idea what to expect. Jin soon realizes that he is not just going to have to get used to his new school, but he also has to learn to accept that he is going to differ from most of his classmates. This is important in many ways. Since Jin is not only culturally different as well as physically different he has many tough obstacles to overcome. Throughout the novel Jin’s self-acceptance is constantly tested. Why is Jin an outcast? How does he deal with this problem? And what is the result? Lastly, how does Jin’s situation relate to our society today?
How is Jin an outcast in his new school? As we know, Jin has currently enrolled in Mayflower Elementary. Since Jin is culturally, racially, and more than likely religiously different from the majority of his classmates, many of them tease him and do not accept him for who he is, making him an outcast. For instance, on the first day of school for Jin, one of his classmates who continuously gives him a hard time says “my momma says Chinese people eat dog” (31). Not only does this embarrass Jin in front of his new classmates, it makes him feel unwanted. This leaves Jin wondering why he is not good enough and how he can change to fit in. Unfortunately instances similar to this take place every day in the real world also. As humans we should know that racial profiling is wrong as soon as we are old enough to think on our own. Gene Luen Yang depicts a nearby students feelings perfectly as her face expresses a melancholy feel for comment made towards Jin (31). Also, notice how the teacher who is supposed to be teaching these kids right from wrong simply acts like the comment made by Timmy is not a harmful thing to say. By doing this Gene is trying to trigger emotion within his adult audience and make them realize that not only their children but all children should be taught a very young age to accept people for who they are. This will...

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