Date

5-4-2020

Description

Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese and Weike Wang's Chemistry are both contemporary young adult Chinese American stories that rely heavily on the schools the main characters' attend for plot progress and resolution. While the latter is about a middle school boy tackling his first romantic and platonic relationships and the former about a PhD dropout hesitant to accept her partner's marriage proposal, both narratives' emphasis on the importance and structure of school make the navigation of their coming-of-age journeys uniquely endearing in the face of the saturated young adult literature category. Chinese American authors, at least in the case of American Born Chinese and Chemistry, make education significant in a genre of literature where it is often deemphasized. What is compelling about educational institutions in these young adult Chinese American stories is that they are used symbolically in attempts to reach the same conclusions of maturity and self acceptance in other young adult stories. Both Wang and Yang illustrate their protagonists' personal Chinese American experiences and mentality by using education as an allegory for Chinese upbringing and ideals.

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May 4th, 12:00 AM

Structure in Instruction: Educational Institutions in Young Adult Chinese American Narratives

Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese and Weike Wang's Chemistry are both contemporary young adult Chinese American stories that rely heavily on the schools the main characters' attend for plot progress and resolution. While the latter is about a middle school boy tackling his first romantic and platonic relationships and the former about a PhD dropout hesitant to accept her partner's marriage proposal, both narratives' emphasis on the importance and structure of school make the navigation of their coming-of-age journeys uniquely endearing in the face of the saturated young adult literature category. Chinese American authors, at least in the case of American Born Chinese and Chemistry, make education significant in a genre of literature where it is often deemphasized. What is compelling about educational institutions in these young adult Chinese American stories is that they are used symbolically in attempts to reach the same conclusions of maturity and self acceptance in other young adult stories. Both Wang and Yang illustrate their protagonists' personal Chinese American experiences and mentality by using education as an allegory for Chinese upbringing and ideals.