American Born Chinese: Stereotypes, Racism And Identity

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American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is a phenomenal graphic novel addressing self-acceptance, racist stereotyping, and identity. Not to mention, Gene Luen Yang blew my socks off with a brilliant intertwining of three rather unconnectable storylines.

Gene Luen Yang tackles the negative stereotypes of a Chinese- American head-on, illustrating Chin-Kee to possesses the physical stereotypical qualities of a Chinese person. Including small eyes, two large teeth, and yellow skin. In addition to these, he carries non-mannered and uncivilized qualities that have historically described to Chinese people. Along with speaking broken English and mixing up his Rs and Ls sounds. Jin wang is an insecure Chinese-American teenager battling an identity crisis that is reinforced by the stereotypes. The desire to fit in, and the urge to eradicate traces of heritage.

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Not only does it take part in Jin’s story but it plays a tremendous part in the theme of Monkey King’s story as well. He is rejected by others because of his appearance. No matter how much more qualify he is than others, he still ends up being rejected. Although after five hundred years of living under a pile of rocks, he learns to accept and recognize his true identity.

The form of the story truly is one of a kind with three diverse stories leading to one huge climatic events. The author illustrates the story of Jin Wang, who happens to be the only Chinese-American at his new school, the tale of Chin-Kee and cousin Danny, a white boy embarrassed by his cousin Chin-Kee and the legend of the Monkey King. Now how exactly does Gene Luen Yang combine all these together? We discover that Dannys’ true form is Jin and is the figure who Jin longings to be. On the other hand, Chin-Kee happens to be the Monkey King and teaches Jin self-acceptance through the learning of his own mistakes. Mind-blowing am I right!!

In conclusion, I would give this book a 4/5 as I felt that the ending was awfully rushed. Other than that I enjoy and had a fun time reading this entertaining graphic novel. It is perfect for readers who battle with maintain their self-identity and cultural while wanting to fit with their community. I recommend it to those who love a good humorous adventure story, with thoughtful and relatable stories. I had a hard time finding a book, movie or show to help you understand the genre and style of this book as I tend not to watch that many shows or movies. As for books, I can’t exactly think of any book that I have read towards this genre.

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American Born Chinese: Stereotypes, Racism And Identity. (2021, September 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“American Born Chinese: Stereotypes, Racism And Identity.” Edubirdie, 20 Sept. 2021,
American Born Chinese: Stereotypes, Racism And Identity. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
American Born Chinese: Stereotypes, Racism And Identity [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 20 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:

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