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A means to an end: Reconsidering the use of stereotypes in the graphic narrative

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modern history
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Misericordi...

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Jeremiah T.
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documents in English
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  1. Introduction
  2. Method of promoting social awareness
  3. Comic book rules and conventions
  4. Stereotypes in comics
  5. Jin Wang's teacher
  6. An excerpt for an interview conducted by Kristy Valenti
  7. Asian American joke
  8. Stereotypes of Asian Americans
  9. Conclusion

After reading the first fifty-two pages of Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese, one may wonder if the reviews that appear on the back are even referring to the book on which they are printed. While Derek Kirk Kim proclaims, ?As an Asian American, American Born Chinese is the book I've been waiting for all my life,? the first fifty-two pages are devoid of anything remotely positive about the Asian American experience. Comprised of three stories, American Born Chinese does not necessarily explode from the gate with a cohesive theme. As each of the three stories appear for the first time, any hopes of a redeeming positive message concerning the Asian American experience dwindle rapidly.

[...] That is a risk recognized by Yang, who in an interview with Jonathan Baylis stated, a little worried younger children would take the Chin-Kee chapters the wrong way.? The way in which Yang is most effective at making the stereotypes obviously absurd is in how he establishes a contrasting relationship between Jin Wang and Chin-Kee. At first, the attitudes expressed by Jin Wang's classmates are based on stereotypes that suggest a basis in the reality of the Asian American experience. [...]


[...] In fact, Jin's family probably stopped doing that sort of thing as soon as they came to the United States? (Yang Fast forward past the panels explaining how Jin Wang's classmates started a rumor about an arranged marriage to Suzy Nakamura and the jokes about Jin Wang eating dog for lunch and the reader arrives at a very telling panel. After three boys are finished harassing Jin Wang, they walk away announcing, ?Come on, Let's leave bucktooth alone so he can enjoy Lassie,? to which one of the boys replies, Ha! [...]

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