Recently, a punk rock group has attached their name to a popular yet controversial book being read in schools across the nation. How would you like it if you were always being teased because of your ethnic culture?
In the story Dragonwings, little Moon Shadow (a Chinese immigrant who came to San Francisco) gets unwanted comments and gestures simply because of his Asian race. As Moon Shadow would walk down the streets of San Francisco, groups of Americans would taunt him and try to aggravate him because he couldn’t speak English very well.
He would reply with broken English saying, “I not like that!” which would invite them to tease him even more. I think that this was very unfair and that it shouldn’t be tolerated because Americans knew about the US Constitution which states that “All men are created equal.”
Also, Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address’ speech states clearly in the beginning, “…conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Those are two great examples that go against making fun of people based on the country that they came from. These examples don’t just include Chinese people, but all different races; yet picking on the Chinese population was more common simply because of the location that they were in.
In this book, I admire Moon Shadow for his bravery and perseverance when things got in his way. Moon Shadow and his father struggled with the racist community as well as the challenge of living in poverty. Even the Great San Francisco Earthquake didn’t stop little Moon Shadow from helping his father, Windrider, achieve his dream of inventing his flying machine.
I enjoyed how Moon Shadow never gave up on the things that he tried to do in life. His positive and optimistic attitude made life for him and his dad much easier than it could have been for them.
Dragonwings has helped me and many others to better understand and appreciate cross-cultural differences; specifically the Chinese culture, because the story showed us life through Moon Shine’s unbiased lenses. When reading a book, there usually are two sides and opinions to the story.
Dragonwings is taken from the protagonist’s point of view, where the antagonists’ were the ‘devilish’ white Americans who lived in San Francisco. When seeing the situation first-hand from Moon Shine’s view, it lets the reader really experience how things were back then. It also gives you the Chinese people’s point of view and their opinions.
Overall, I thought this was a very informative and interesting book. I enjoyed becoming familiar with the characters and their attitudes (especially Moon Shadow and Windrider).
I am sure the situation they lived through would have been tough for all of us. It is important to educate ourselves about history in general so that society doesn’t repeat past mistakes.
This literature analysis was brought to you by Tanner Page, the Chief Marketing Officer at a pest control company in Tucson, AZ. You can reach him via our contact form.