Transform? More Like Deform by Kate C.


American Born Chinese, page 27

Gene Leun Yang used the symbol of a transformer toy to remind readers that no matter how hard we try to change our exterior, our true form still lies beneath. The herbalist’s wife in American Born Chinese says “It’s easy to become anything you wish, so long as you’re willing to forfeit your soul” (page 27). This is the beginning of a lot of problems that will take longer than people thought to solve.  Jin the main character of the book is searching for the normal    American life. he wants to be an American boy.  Jin doesn’t want the label of American-Chinese because that label adds a lot of issues in his school life. problems he faces are racism, bully’s, stereotypes, and people just assuming that he is related to anyone who looks like him. What he doesn’t understand is that everything comes with a price, small or big, in American Born  Chinese it just so happened that the price is your soul (page 27). This is definitely very tempting, you are able to change anything you want about yourself, anything!  If I was going to change myself I would change my fingers because there all crocked and are weirdly long, but other than that there isn’t anything I really want to change. For Jin though he’s changing a lot more than fingers he’s changing his whole body. He’s becoming Danny, Jin would not only lose himself becoming Danny he would lose his heritage his connection to his family, a friend and his way.  In the book Danny is a duplicate of Greg an American boy in Jin’s class, he is typical American boy he has blonde hair, curly, tall and he has a gang of boys around him at all times (page 33). In some ways Greg is an allusion to the all American boy and a foreshadow of the future. Jin wanted curly blonde hair because of Greg he wanted to be “White” (page 194). In the end you learn that no matter how you change yourself you will never be that person you have tried so hard to be.




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