Study Guide

Dragonwings Writing Style

By Laurence Yep

Writing Style

Simple, Imaginative

The fact that Dragonwings is narrated by the earnest, young Moon Shadow makes Yep's open and simple sentences really jive together. When Moon Shadow sees the wreckage after the earthquake, for example, Yep expresses the narrator's new sense of fear by writing: "It was kind of scary" (10.6).

But don't mistake simplicity here for stupidity or lack of skill. The sentences are written with a care for economy and feeling, allowing for the fantastical potential of the novel as well as the historical accuracy. For example, another walk through the city has Moon Shadow reflect, "Wherever you went, you saw the same wooden frames going up – like the skeletons of houses waiting for their wooden flesh to be attached. It was a city waiting to be reborn" (10.130).