The introduction: the fundamentals of a graphic novel
American Born Chinese is considered to be famous graphic novel written by an American comic artist Gene Luen Yang. The novel includes three different parts. The main character of the first part is the Monkey King. Another part discloses the life of the main character Jin Wang.
The third part is related to the life of an American boy Danny. Generally, a graphic novel is mostly associated with a comic genre, but in my opinion, the context of the book is rather serious. All the parts disclose the same issue, but in different ways. The main question the author possesses in the tales of the novel is What Are Your Efforts to Succeed?
The thesis statement
The conflict of opposites is recognized to be one of the most important philosophical questions. Especially, if the opposites are considered to be the contradictory sides, the creature consists of. In other words, there is a good side, and the bad one. It depends upon the creature what way to follow. The process of acceptance a good side is rather complicated; however, the victory over inner monsters is important to come to harmony.
The body: inward demons of the main characters
To my mind, one of the most interesting and conflicting characters is the Monkey King. The fact, that he had great powers, but couldn’t use them to get what he wanted or to take vengeance on his ill-wishers impressed me best. Thus, the plot is logically developed and really thought-provoking.
In other words, the hidden context has given me a devil of a time trying to come up with the conclusions. When the Monkey King was punished for five hundred years, I’ve asked myself about the time. Why five hundred? Why one hundred is not enough? I was thinking for about one hour, and finally, I’ve realized that it takes so long time to acknowledge the errors; or, on the other hand, to assume responsibility for the past actions.
Moreover, for some creatures, it is extremely difficult to admit wrong actions. The fact that the main character was rescued is rather pleasant; so, I’ve understood that different sins require different terms to be recounted. The demons the Monkey King fights with are in his soul. They are mostly associated with the traits of the character, which are to be eliminated. Finally, in my opinion, the main idea the author highlights is the process of acceptance the main character should experience.
The second story discloses the life of a Chinese American boy Jin Wang. When the boy started to attend a new school (because his family moved to another town), he became “an object of speculation” (Lam 1). For the main character, it is not so easy to communicate with anyone, and he can’t find a friend until the coming of a new student.
In my opinion, Jin Wang is focused on his struggle with the external world. He can’t become the part of the community he lives with; the society rejects him, and finally, he tries to exploit his friend. I suppose it was fate, which punished the main character for his traitorous actions: Jin Wang lost the only friend he had.
The last character is Danny. He also struggles with his own fears; however, his Chinese cousin helps him to realize and understand his hidden identity. It is not so easy for Danny to accept his second side; but finally, he wins…
The conclusion: the importance of a personal fight
In my opinion, a graphic novel American Born Chinese shows us that people are to fight with their personal fears, lack of self-confidence, and self-humiliation. Other people can’t accept and respect a person who has low self-esteem. One of the most important struggles, which finally defines who is who, is a personal fight. Eradication of inner contradictions is the most effective road to success.
Lam, LiMin 2007, A Dose of Humor and Reality: American Born Chinese, 2007. Web. 08 Feb. 2012.