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ERIC Number: ED412550
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov-22
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Working in and between Two Cultures: Moon Shadow's Dilemma in Laurence Yep's "Dragonwings."
Baghban, Marcia
Laurence Yep's "Dragonwings" won the Newbery Award in 1976. It is the story of a young boy named Moon Shadow and his physical and emotional journeys between Chinese and American cultures. Through Moon Shadow's experiences upon entering the United States as an immigrant, the reader empathizes with him on 3 levels: the perception of Americans from a child's point of view; the common experience of confronting new situations; and Americans' common history of immigration. Yep maintains a balance with Moon Shadow's experiences in both cultures. Miss Whitlaw teaches Moon Shadow some English and encourages him to write short paragraphs about dragons; he becomes a proficient enough writer to establish a correspondence with the Wright Brothers for his father, an expert kite maker. Laurence Yep writes that "Dragonwings" is a "historical fantasy" inspired by both his father's journey to America and the newspaper account of a young Chinese flier who flew for 20 minutes in the hills of Oakland, California in 1909. In researching "Dragonwings" Yep was unable to discover much about the human experience of Chinese immigrants to America at the turn of the century. His own experience was with a family that did not speak Chinese--when he attended a Chinese school, he was placed in the "dummies" class. Beyond Yep's relevance to a Chinese-American audience, his work reflects a common humanity to readers coming of age or not, bicultural or not, attempting to find themselves in the pieces of their particular puzzles. (Contains 19 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A