Jade Snow Wong

1944 Words8 Pages
Written in third-person narration, Jade Snow Wong’s autobiography Fifth Chinese Daughter explores the differences between the Chinese space and American space. Jade Snow Wong is constantly comparing the two spaces and is conflicted as she fails to connect intimately between the sharply divided Chinese and American worlds. While dealing with the struggle to be accepted by mainstream society, she slowly begins to deny her Chinese heritage in order to assimilate and form a closer connection to the American world. By doing so, the reader sees an aspect of performance from Jade Snow Wong’s Chinese-ness and American-ness in order to find acceptance and form an identity in a hegemonic, white-American society. This staged duality ultimately disconnects…show more content…
Upon entering a public American school, Jade Snow realizes that the American custom is clearly different from her familiar traditions back at home. At the age of six, she is introduced to the American public school system which marks the beginning of her assimilation to American culture and something that is beyond her family life. Jade Snow is introduced to Miss Mullohand, her new teacher, whom she describes in favorable attributes such as “wavy, blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes” (20). Immediately, Wong is under the impression that having fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes is somehow better than the physical attributes of Chinese people. While no one has verbally taught her the differences, there are social cues that Jade picks up immediately upon entry of the American school space. Because the White American culture and customs dominate the space within the education sphere, Jade subconsciously feels the desire to join the “norm”. While playing in the schoolyard, Jade hurts herself and is comforted by her teacher. There is a stark contrast between the way that Miss Mullohand, a figure of the American space, and her mother, who is part

More about Jade Snow Wong

Open Document