Study Guide

American Born Chinese Betrayal

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Betrayal in American Born Chinese isn't just a matter of screwing over someone you ought to be loyal to—it's about betraying yourself. Jin kisses his best friend's girlfriend, but the only reason he does this is because he can't deal with his Chineseness. Meanwhile, the Monkey King also betrays his monkey subjects when he forces them to wear shoes like the gods and goddesses. Why? Because he feels insecure about his monkey self. In a nutshell: it all comes back to being cool with yourself. If you're not, at least in ABC, things are bound to go badly.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. How do Chin-Kee and Danny betray each other?
  2. Why is Wong Lao-Tsai able to remain loyal to Tze-Yo-Tzuh?
  3. How do the white characters in the book also engage in forms of betrayal?
  4. Why does the book end with Jin and Wei-Chen laughing while in a Chinese restaurant?

Chew on This

Betraying someone you love is worse than betraying yourself.

Betraying yourself is worse than betraying someone you love.

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