The Chinese Culture In The Book Donald Duk

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The book Donald Duk tells the story of a Chinese teenager living in America. This teenager’s name is Donald. Throughout the story, Donald clashes with the Chinese and American cultures. At the start of the book, Donald is angered and embarrassed by the Chinese culture. He is upset that his family isn’t like everyone else’s. Donald hates being different, and unfortunately for him, that’s exactly what his family is. Donald goes to a private school, where most of the families are white and according to him “normal.” That means there are no funky rituals, foods, or traditions that the other kids at school have to do, unlike him. This causes him to question the Chinese culture and everything it involves. Through this questioning, Donald channels…show more content…
An example of this is, is when Donald is expressing his annoyance towards Chinese New Year. He says: “Oh, no! Here comes Chinese New Year again! It is Donald Duk’s worst time of year. Here come the stupid questions about the funny things Chinese believe in. The funny things Chinese do. The funny things Chinese eat. And, “Where can I buy some Chinese firecrackers?” (pg. 3) Here Donald is acknowledging his embarrassment and distaste with his culture. He is uncomfortable with being different from the rest of kids in school, which causes him to direct this feeling of unease towards his Chinese identity. We see Donald, in particular, directing this feeling of unease at his Chinese identity to his family in the beginning of the book. For example in one scene Donald is expressing his distaste about his uncle, who is a Cantonese opera star. He says: “No, Donald does not want his uncle to come. It will be awful. Everything Chinese in his life seems to be awful. His father is awful. Daddy has an awful Chinatown accent. Daddy is not rich.” (pg. 8) Here Donald’s hatred and embarrassment towards his culture is being directed at his family. In particular it is being directed at his father because, his father values and enforces the Chinese customs and traditions the most out of everyone in his family. Donald’s hatred towards his culture even causes him to rebel in a way. Because Donald associates his Chinese heritage mostly with his dad he destroys one of his dad’s model planes. At the beginning of the book Donald Duk it is very evident that Donald is embarrassed and frustrated by the Chinese

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