American Born Chinese: The Need To Belong

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American Born Chinese- The Need to Belong

The book starts out with three seemingly different tales, and then merges them all together. In the book American Born Chinese, all 3 stories largely reflect about needing, or wanting, to fit in.

The first tale is about the Monkey King who goes to a celestial dinner party, but is denied entrance because he is a monkey and does not wear shoes. He then locks himself in his chamber to learn the twelve disciplines of kung fu, when he is summoned to the underwater kingdom to be executed. He goes around causing chaos, until Tze-Yo-Tzuh, his creator, stops him. As a result, the Monkey King flees, carving his name into five pillars of gold at the end of his trip, as well as relieving himself on one of the pillars. Afterward, he again meets his creator, who shows him his fingers, which were in reality the five pillars of gold. Tze-Yo-Tzuh then buries the Monkey King in a mountain of rubble. After many years, the Monkey King is asked by an unworthy monk to release himself from the mountain he is buried under so he can be the monk's disciple. At first, he refuses, but when the monk is injured by two giant monsters, he returns to his true form, and uses his disciplines to get rid of the giants. He takes the monk to the nearest village, and then begins his journey to the west. This tale shows that the Monkey King felt the need to belong, all because of what happened at the dinner party, and was not accepted. This was why he learnt all the twelve disciplines, to show that he is more worthy, and powerful than just a monkey, and equal to the heavens.

The second story then begins with a Chinese American boy, Jin Wang, who has moved to a new home. When he goes to school, the teacher mispronounces his name, boys pick on him, and rumors arise that he is betrothed to a Japanese girl named Suzy Nakamura. Two months later, a new student from Taiwan arrives, named Wei Chen. At first Jin does not like him, but later the two become...
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