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Dragonwings

Dragonwings

by Laurence Yep

Race Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

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)

Race and nationality unfairly factor into who is able to create a home in America. On an even more basic level, racial prejudice dictates who is able to feel like they belong in the Land of the Golden Mountain.

Quote #2

[Grandfather] was a proud man who would take nonsense from nobody. One day shortly after he had arrived, some drunken demons had tried to cut off his queue. Grandfather could have worn a wig if his queue had been cut off. He would not have been the first "guest" of the demons who had to resort to one, but instead Grandfather had spat in their faces and busted a few heads, and before the whole thing was finished, he was swinging from a lamppost by some demon's clothesline. (4.13)

Moon Shadow's family is already deeply affected by the consequences of racial unrest in America. Grandfather was lynched by people who acted violently in response to his queue, a characteristic of Tang people of the time.

Quote #3

The tent flap was raised by a young demon officer. One of Miss Whitlaw's demon neighbors was pointing at us. "Come along, you two," the young officer said. "We're moving you out."

"All of us?"
Father asked incredulously.

"Just YOU, Chinamen," the young officer said. "You sabe me?" (10.84-87)

The Lees are kicked out of Golden Gate Park by city officials after the earthquake based solely on their looks. Despite the fact that the earthquake was a natural disaster that left most everyone homeless, the authorities chose to discriminate and treat the Tang people as less than other inhabitants.

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