Study Guide

American Born Chinese Coming of Age

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Coming of Age

In American Born Chinese, coming of age has more to do with facing your everyday old self. That means the Monkey King needs to come to grips with the fact that he's just a monkey at the end of the day (despite his miraculous powers), and Jin needs to realize that he'll never be white and that he'll always be Chinese. So becoming mature really just means becoming comfortable in your own skin.

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. What exactly forces Jin to come of age?
  2. Can the Monkey King's personal transformation be considered a coming of age?
  3. How do adults affect Jin's coming of age?
  4. Do the female characters get the chance to come of age in the book too?

Chew on This

Coming of age is a lonely process—you can't take your friends with you.

If you don't face any obstacles in life, you never actually come of age.

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