Cultural Indifference Literary Analysis of the Graphic Novel American Born Chinese

Chinese are Mongolian people that live in Asia. The country that the Chinese people inhabit is China. China has over 2 billion people living in its borders and many Chinese are relocating to the United States to live because of the overcrowding issues of China. This novel is based on this relocation of Chinese men or women, and children to the United States. This novel also focuses on spiritual practices of the Chinese, and lessons of everyday living. This novel focuses on many experiences of indifference; also how people, as well as different species are treated, because of indifference. I will analyze this novel using the theory of cultural studies; and will prove that cultural literature affects every day living.

What is culture? According to the Webster’s dictionary it means “The beliefs, customs, and arts of a particular group, society, place or time.” The Chinese have a rich culture, and their culture is different in many ways comparison to the American way of life. For example in the novel the boy called Jin spoke of a statement that his mother had told him about their culture he said,” My mother once explained to me why she chose to marry my father. Of all the Ph.D. students at the university, he had the thickest glasses. The thick glasses meant long hours of studying. Long hours of studying meant a strong work ethic. A strong work ethic meant a high salary. A high salary meant a good husband.”

We in America mostly marry for love not high salary. Many Americans treat Chinese immigrants badly, because of their culture; so therefore, the Chinese that relocate to America try to introduce some of their culture by starting businesses, and starting teaching careers as well as martial art schools. But a child growing up in the American environment that treats them unfairly, because of indifference is very dramatic.

According to Publisher’s Weekly,” The book American Born Chinese is a fable for every kid born into a body, and a life they wished they could escape.” At the early stage of child development the brain function is in heavy activity. This is the time a child starts to read. The child reads often as well as learn from what is read, and applies this to his or her life.

According to Live Science the amount of mentally stimulating materials around the home such as the number of books that are in the home may predict the structure of the brain later in life.

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According to researcher Brian Avant an associate professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania the time a child spends at home with their parents before they reach the age to attend school will affect the child for the rest of their lives.

So a child learns the bad behavior of treating people unfairly, because of indifference at an early age by the actions of their parents. These are some examples of children in school treating other children unfairly, because of indifference in this novel. These are the following: The child Jin Wang is being introduced to the class by the teacher, and one of the male students says,” My momma says Chinese people eat dogs.” Another incident in the book is a guard at the entrance to a party says to a king,” You may be a king, you may even be a deity, but you are still a monkey. Have a good day sir.”

According to Gill Grozer who wrote the book “Youth in Education: The Necessity of Valuing Ethno-cultural Diversity” he states that a predominately all white school will cause a child of a different race, and culture to experience indifference on an everyday basis. So the environment that we surround our children with cause some of the bad experiences that the child lives with every day until these acts of indifference is remedied. The parents have to acknowledge the child circumstances at school in order to remedy the problem.

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