Study Guide

Crazy Rich Asians Foreignness and "The Other"

By Kevin Kwan

Foreignness and "The Other"

There's a lot of tension in Crazy Rich Asians, especially about where a person is born. The irony of the snobbiness of the rich in Singapore is that many of them disdain that which they or their families once were: Chinese. Much disparagement is tossed at "Mainland Chinese" or "Mainlanders." Philip Young tries to call out this hypocrisy when talking to his wife, but she brushes him off coolly. More so, those from outside the social sphere of the wealthiest are dealt with condescendingly. How dare they have the audacity to have less money than me? 

Questions About Foreignness and "The Other"

  1. Why is Rachel treated so poorly in Singapore? How is this related to her "otherness"?
  2. In what ways does Eleanor still feel like a foreigner in her husband's family? How does that affect her actions in the novel?
  3. In what ways does foreignness negatively impact Astrid's life?
  4. In what ways are the Singaporeans similar and different from the "Mainlanders," particularly those we learn about through Kerry Chu's story?

Chew on This

Only those born within Singapore and our family are worthy of being in our family.

If it's different from me, it's wrong.