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by Laurence Yep

Dragonwings Foreignness and 'The Other' Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

It is much trickier to deal with a demon of the Middle Kingdom than an American devil, because you always know that the American devil means you harm. (1.35)

Showing how racism is not only a one-sided problem, Moon Shadow admits his preconceptions of Americans.

Quote #2

There was reason to worry, too, for just a few years ago, the demons had broken their own laws and turned away over twenty thousand of their former guests who had expected to be readmitted. This figure does not even reflect the large number of Tang men who could not get into the country for the first time. The demons, it seemed were determined to cut down on the number of Tang people living on the Golden Mountain. (1.38)

Fear of Chinese people taking over American jobs and resources had a direct effect upon the laws enforced to limit Chinese immigration.

Quote #3

He was my father and yet he was a stranger to me. I had never seen him.
I thought to myself, How can we ever speak to one another? He's as strange to me as a demon. (1.47-48)

Moon Shadow is literally foreign to his own father, who he's never met before. This complicates what it means for Moon Shadow to arrive in America, a foreign land, to live with a parent who is a stranger to him. Even the presumably familiar is alien to Moon Shadow when he first arrives in America.

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