Being Legendary Through Helping Others by Agha

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American Born Chinese written by Gene Luen Yang, is about characters finding their true identity. This book uses three different parallel times in order to explain the story. Ultimately, all the three stories combined into one at the end of the book. Wong-Lai Tsao, a monk in American Born Chinese, receives “legendary” status. Through this character, Gene Luen Yang, tells readers that in order to receive “legendary” status you must have a heart to give to others. On page 135, Gene Yang shows that Wong-Lai Tsao could not meditate for more that twenty days, he couldn’t fast for more than half a day, and when he preached he did not make sense, but Wong-Lai Tsao is still very remarkable. What makes him remarkable is that he gathered fruit in a nearby orchard just to share it with the vagrants who lived outside of town. This really helped the people because they were always very hungry. He also fixed and changed people’s wounds which is a very kind thing for him to do. Wong-Lai Tsao really could not do anything that other monks could do, but what made him remarkable is the he helped others which is something different then other monks did. Wong-Lai Tsao was chosen by Tze-Yo-Tzuh in to go on a quest to help others. Wong-Lai Tsao helped the Monkey King find his true self. The author introduces the Monkey King as a self-proclaimed sage, but he is not. After, Wong-Lai Tsao helps the Monkey King find his true self, the Monkey King becomes enlightened and also become a true sage. All in all, you must have the heart to give to others in order to receive “legendary” status.

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American Born Chinese, page 135

Do You Really Change? by Ian

Gene Luen Yang shows in his book American Born Chinese that people may act one way to fit in even though what they pretend to be goes against their own core values. Jin the main character is a Chinese American boy who moves from China Town in San Francisco to an undisclosed suburb in California. Jin consistently finds himself in school with only two other Asian classmates, Suzie and Wei. Jin struggles with identity and put his friendships in danger to “Fit In”. Jin decides to get a perm after people make fun of his hair for not being like the hair they have. Jin is made fun of like this consistently in the book. Next, Yang shows Jin, the main character change himself so much after being criticized he transforms into Danny. Danny has a character in his part named Chin-Kee who is the Monkey King. The Monkey King wanted to be a god even though he was as his name states, the king of monkeys not a god. The character Chin-Kee was an over stereotyped Chinese person that was meant to offend people and made Danny (Jin) embarrassed. It is revealed in the end of the book that Chin-Kee is the Monkey King and transforms Danny back into Jin. The lesson was that no matter how much you try to hide it you are who you are and you can’t change our background and culture. I believe Gene is showing that your background outlines who you are and sticks with you for life.

Author’s Personal Site: http://geneyang.com/

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/American-Born-Chinese-Gene-Luen/dp/0312384483

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American Born Chinese, page 98

Banning Books? by Abbey

Often parents ban books or censor books because they didn’t like the content in it for their child. However they should not be allowed to make decisions in libraries or schools. Books can provide real life experiences without real life consequences. If you can read about people doing things that can get them in trouble and the kind of trouble that they can get into they are most likely to not do the same thing. I children read about it then more of them are less likely to get in trouble for those things. Another reason why books shouldn’t be banned is freedom of choice. Just because one person doesn’t like or agree with the content in the book doesn’t mean that others won’t also. The United States is a free country where everyone is allowed to have their own opinions. The last reason why books shouldn’t be banned is that lots of books help us learn about different cultures. In many books it discusses religion and the lifestyle of people of different culture. These books help us learn about the beliefs and ways to go about life that different people have. If we didn’t have these kinds of books then some people would not know how to act around people of a different culture.  These things are what create suspense in the stories. If every book was banned because they had one of these things, then there would be no interesting books.