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American Born Chinese.

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Presentation on theme: "American Born Chinese."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Born Chinese

2 Essential questions How is the genre of the graphic novel different from the contemporary novel? Why would an author choose this genre over the contemporary novel? How does the language differ in both genres? How does the concept of stereotypes shape our reading of American Born Chinese?

3 What is a graphic novel? A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art, either in an experimental design or in a traditional comics format.

4 What is the difference from conventional novels?
Novels are presented as books in linear form Picture books tell a story with text accompanied by illustrations Film works with moving images and dialogue Graphic novels combine all of these elements as a medium for story-telling. They tell a story through visual images.

5 Difference in audience
In today’s market, graphic novels exist for almost everyone but are not automatically for all ages. In the past, American comics were mostly aimed at children and teens, but today there are graphic novels for everyone from elementary school kids to seniors. A higher percentage of graphic novels and comics are still aimed at men from teens to middle age, while girls and women have fewer titles created expressly for their tastes. Japanese manga creators focus their titles on a specific age and gender audience

6 Some popular graphic novels
Directions: In your groups, review the following novels. You will have 5-10 minutes per graphic novel. You will not see all of them. Please use your discussion questions for each. Alan Moore’s Watchmen Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale No Fear Shakespeare (various titles) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I am Legend by Richard Mateson The Picture of Dorian Gray Fables: Animal Farm

7 Graphic novel group discussion questions
1. What’s the difference on structure between graphic novels and comics? 2. Compare and contrast these visual elements from graphic novels and comics: the visuals speech bubbles language 3. Compare and contrast these literary elements from graphic novels and comics: plot characters theme point of view 4. Are any of these more entertainment-oriented than the other? 5. What’s the purpose of each of them? 6. What’s the target/potential audience for each of them?

8 Author’s choice Why would an author CHOOSE this form?
Read as a class:

9 Interview with the author

10 Advantages/ Disadvantages
Peaks interest Bridges students to texts Interesting to follow Better for visual readers Clearer imagery Able to capture nuances like no other medium Perception of parents/teachers/etc. Teaching value Teaching “typical” literary conventions (may not all be there, or different) Lack of depth exposition since everything has to be a bit more “short and sweet” at times Serious topics (not always a great idea for authors)

11 Terms to know before reading (see your hand out as well)
Ana chronic order: switches between the Monkey King story, set thousands of years ago, and two storylines set in modern times. Frame break: when the Monkey King leaves the universe flying “through the boundaries of reality itself,” he breaks through the frame of the panel he’s in. The story then switches to one illustration per page with no panel borders until he re-enters reality, at which point the normal panel resumes. Laugh track: Chin-Kee’s appearances are accompanied by a Laugh Track, done as onomatopoeia

12 Stereotypes & Historical Context

13 Historical context Why were Chinese and other Asian immigrants targets of discrimination in California during the late 1800s? How did Chinese resist (use agency) discrimination? How do stereotypes and perceptions of the other as exemplified in ABC relate to the real life discrimination experienced by Chinese immigrants to the U.S Why did the Chinese come to the U.S? What were some of the reactions of Americans? Why were Chinese targets of discrimination in the U.S?

14 Chinese Immigration to the United States in the 1800s
In the early 1850s, thousands of Chinese traveled east across the Pacific Ocean to the United States for the promise of gold in the mountains of California. Though gold brought the Chinese to California in large numbers, they were familiar with the West Coast; Some evidence indicates that early Chinese explorers might have visited North America hundreds of years before Columbus did. The number of Chinese immigrants jumped from just a few hundred a year to over 20,000 in Chinese-American miners soon became a common sight in the mountains of California.

15 Competition leads to violence
Chinese miners discovered white miners resented their competition. To avoid confrontation, they operated the less desirable sites and worked in large groups for protection. Nevertheless, the Chinese became a focal point of white miners' anger and frustration. California governor John Bigler declared the Chinese "a danger to the welfare of the state." Such statements stirred the California legislature to pass a special tax that took over half of the average Chinese miner's wages. The law allowed any citizen to collect this tax. Financial harassment soon degenerated into outright violence. In 1856 the newspaper the Shasta Republican reported: 'Hundreds of Chinarnen have been slaughtered in cold blood in the last five years by the desperados that infest our state. The murder of the Chinaman was almost a daily occurrence; yet in all this time we have heard of but two or three cases where the guilty parties were brought to justice." Atrocities against Chinese became so common that the phrase "a Chinaman's chance" came to mean no chance at all. In fact, an 1850 law prohibited the Chinese-along with Native Americans and African Americans-from testifying in court against a white person. Terrorized, most Chinese left the hills or returned home to China or to the safety of San Francisco's growing Chinatown.

16 Transcontinental railroad opens opportunities
A new opportunity opened up for Chinese workers with the building of the transcontinental railroad. In July 1862 Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act, which gave two large railroad companies, Central Pacific and Union Pacific, approval to construct and operate a railroad that would reach from coast to coast. Union Pacific began in the East, and Central Pacific in the West. Competition between the two soon became a race to see which company could lay the most track before the two met. When the railroad was completed in 1869, many Chinese workers were once again unemployed and unwelcome. Many returned to China to rejoin their families. Others brought their families to California. Unfortunately, various national events reignited racist feelings against the Chinese,

17 Anti-Chinese Violence
The 1870s saw a sharp downturn in the U.S. economy. As the recession deepened, unemployment grew, and frustrated workers often blamed Chinese immigrants for taking whites‘ jobs. Dennis Kearny, a recent Irish immigrant and leader of the Workingman's Party, pointed to Chinese as the root of the unemployment. Speaking before crowds of angry, hungry workers, Kearny portrayed the Chinese as deviously determined to undermine white labor by working for inhumanly low wages. His racist rhetoric contributed to a wave of violence that swept across the state and led to the brutal beatings of Chinese and the burning of many of their businesses. The San Francisco Bulletin asked, "Why is it that these people [the Chinese] are beaten and maltreated at high noon on our streets and no arrests invariably recorded?"

18 Chinese Exclusion Act May 6, 1882
The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first major law restricting immigration to the United States. It was enacted in response to economic fears, especially on the West Coast, where native-born Americans attributed unemployment and declining wages to Chinese workers whom they also viewed as racially inferior. The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law on May 6, 1882, by President Chester A. Arthur, effectively halted Chinese immigration for ten years and prohibited Chinese from becoming US citizens. Through the Geary Act of 1892, the law was extended for another ten years before becoming permanent in 1902. After the Gold Rush of 1849, the Chinese were drawn to the West Coast as a center of economic opportunity where, for example, they helped build the first transcontinental railroad by working on the Central Pacific from 1864 to The Chinese Exclusion Act foreshadowed the immigration-restriction acts of the 1920s, culminating in the National Origins Act of 1929, which capped overall immigration to the United States at 150,000 per year and barred Asian immigration. The law was repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943 during World War II, when China was an ally in the war against imperial Japan. Nevertheless, the 1943 act still allowed only 105 Chinese immigrants per year, reflecting persisting prejudice against the Chinese in American immigration policy. It was not until the Immigration Act of 1965, which eliminated previous national-origins policy, that large-scale Chinese immigration to the United States was allowed to begin again after a hiatus of over 80 years.


20 An act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese.
WHEREAS, in the opinion of the Government of the United States the coming of Chinese laborers to this country endangers the good order of certain localities within the territory thereof: Therefore, Be it enacted, That from and after the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and until the expiration of ten years next after the passage of this act, the coming of Chinese laborers to the Untied States be, suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come, or, having so come after the expiration of said ninety days, to remain within the United States. SEC. 2. That the master of any vessel who shall knowingly bring within the United States on such vessel, and land or permit to be landed, any Chinese laborer, from any foreign port or place, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each and every such Chinese laborer so brought, and may be also imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year. SEC. 3. That the two foregoing sections shall not apply to Chinese laborers who were in the United States on the seventeenth day of November, eighteen hundred and eighty, or who shall have come into the same before the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, . . . SEC. 6. That in order to the faithful execution of articles one and two of the treaty in this act before mentioned, every Chinese person other than a laborer who may be entitled by said treaty and this act to come within the United States, and who shall be about to come to the United States, shall be identified as so entitled by the Chinese Government in each case, such identity to be evidenced by a certificate issued under the authority of said government, which certificate shall be in the English language or (if not in the English language) accompanied by a translation into English, stating such right to come, and which certificate shall state the name, title, or official rank, if any, the age, height, and all physical peculiarities former and present occupation or profession and place of residence in China of the person to whom the certificate is issued and that such person is entitled conformably to the treaty in this act mentioned to come within the Untied States SEC. 12. That no Chinese person shall be permitted to enter the United States by land without producing to the proper office of customs the certificate in this act required of Chinese persons seeking to land from a vessel. Any any Chinese person found unlawfully within the United States shall be caused to be removed therefrom to the country from whence he came, by direction of the President of the United States, and at the cost of the United States, after being brought before some justice, judge, or commissioner of a court of the United States and found to be one not lawfully entitled to be or remain in the United States. SEC. 13. That this act shall not apply to diplomatic and other officers of the Chinese Government traveling upon the business of that government, whose credentials shall be taken as equivalent to the certificate in this act mentioned, and shall exempt them and their body and household servants from the provisions of this act as to other Chinese persons. SEC. 14. That hereafter no State court or court of the United States shall admit Chinese to citizenship; and all laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed. SEC. 15. That the words "Chinese laborers," whenever used in this act, shall be construed to mean both skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining.

21 Stereotypes Categorizing things or people is a natural human inclination; however, people often make assumptions about groups of people they don’t really know. Brainstorm categories that you think of….Let’s think of 5 as a class. Write these on your paper as we discuss…

22 5 categories With these 5 categories written down on your paper, take a few minutes to jot down a few adjectives related to each category. After, respond to these discussion questions: Do assumptions apply to everyone in a group? Do most people hold the same assumptions about a group? Why or why not? Do assumptions tell us anything definite about a categorized individual? How do assumptions affect your behavior toward others?

23 Definition: Stereotypes
Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people whereby we attribute a defined set of characteristics to this group. When we make assumptions about groups of people, those assumptions are referred to as stereotypes. When assumptions and stereotypes are attitudes, we may find that making a fair judgment about someone can be difficult. This influence is called “bias.”

24 In American Born Chinese
Stereotypes of this graphic novel will revolve mostly around that of the Chinese American and the Chinese immigrant. We will notice/analyze the portrayal of particular characters (physical and otherwise), the way others react to them and treat them, and the way this treatment makes them feel.

25 Begin reading

26 “The Monkey King” The Monkey King, is a main character in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West written by Wu Cheng'en. In the novel, he is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain by the Buddha, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India.

27 “The Monkey King” The Monkey King possesses an immense amount of strength; he is able to lift his 13,500 jīn (8,100 kg or 17,881 lbs) staff with ease. He is also superbly fast, able to travel 108,000 li (54,000 kilometers or 33,554 mi) in one somersault. He knows 72 transformations, which allows him to transform into various animals and objects; he has trouble, however, transforming into other people, because he is unable to complete the transformation of his tail. He is a skilled fighter, capable of holding his own against the best generals of heaven. Each of his hairs possesses magical properties, and is capable of transforming either into a clone of the Monkey King himself, or various weapons, animals, and other objects. He also knows spells that can command wind, part water, conjure protective circles against demons, and freeze humans, demons, and gods alike. One of the most enduring Chinese literary characters, the Monkey King has a varied background and colorful cultural history and is considered by some American, Chinese, and Indian scholars to be influenced by both the Hindu deity Hanuman from the Ramayana and elements of Chinese folklore

28 Video clips of “The Monkey King”

29 About Written and drawn by Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese is a Graphic Novel dealing with the trials and tribulations of Asians attempting to integrate into American culture. The story begins by following three characters: The first is The Monkey King (Great Sage Equal of Heaven, who is shamed after being kicked out of a celestial dinner party for being a monkey (and not wearing shoes). He becomes obsessed with earning the respect of the Heavenly Hosts as a result.

30 The second is Jin Wang, a second-generation immigrant from China heavily influenced by Chinese culture. After moving from San Francisco to a new city, he awkwardly tries to integrate with the all-white students and staff at school, despite their stereotypical view of Asians. The third is a white American boy named Danny, who is burdened by his annual visits of his cousin Chin-Kee, an embodiment of every negative Chinese stereotype ever. Chin-Kee’s behavior has forced Danny to change schools in the past to escape association with him. While each story arc works well on its own and appear to be independent, by the end all three cleverly converge into a climax that affirm the need to embrace one’s heritage and be yourself.

31 Section 1

32 Things to notice… Pg. 7- “double entendre:” at the celestial dinner party “your peaches are looking especially plump today!” Pg. 13- “ironic echo”: The Monkey King is barred from a celestial party for not wearing shoes (and being a monkey). When he becomes the disciple of the monk Wong Lai-Tsao he is told that they do not wear shoes for their journey.

33 Section 2

34 Section 3

35 The laugh-track A laugh track (also canned laughter, fake laughter) is a separate sound track with artificial sound of audience laughter. Yang uses a form of one in ABC (example on page 45)

36 The reveal Happens three times Danny is actually Jin
Chin-Kee is actually the Monkey King Wei Chen Sun is the Monkey King’s son

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