From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dragonwings Theme of Race

Moon Shadow is a Chinese immigrant to America in the beginning of the twentieth, a time during which a legalized sort of racism and discrimination was going down in American history. Significantly, Moon Shadow thinks of himself as a Tang person and white Americans as "white demons." Moon Shadow's assumptions about national and cultural difference shift, however, the more people he meets.

Questions About Race

  1. Why does Moon Shadow think that Black Dog thinks of the Tang people as the demons do?
  2. Does racial difference present the biggest conflict in this story?
  3. How is Moon Shadow's life made more difficult because he is a Tang person in America? How is his life made more manageable because he is a Tang person in America?
  4. What assumptions does Moon Shadow have about demons? Why? Do these thoughts change and, if so, how?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Moon Shadow learns that the best way to fight discrimination is through violence, like when he hits Jack for example.

Moon Shadow learns that the best way to fight discrimination is to work within the rules and use hard work and smarts to figure out another way, like when Uncle Bright Star convinces the authorities to let the Tang people resettle onto their land.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...