Study Guide

Mr. Lee in Snow Crash

By Neal Stephenson

Mr. Lee

Mr. Lee's "wildly grinning" (12.97) face has become an icon to those who visit and do business with his franchises, Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong. His comically bad English exemplifies his style, as seen in this welcome message: "Whether seriously in business or on a fun-loving hijink, make yourself totally homely in this meager environment" (12.98). It's all an act, though, a ruse to suggest that Mr. Lee is a harmless man.

However, when Hiro finally meets him and recognizes the "small Asian man" (55.41), he observes that Mr. Lee's "English is almost devoid of a Chinese accent; clearly his cute, daffy public image is just a front" (55.45). Further, Mr. Lee is hanging out with big hitters like Uncle Enzo in order to plan the attack on Rife, revealing that Mr. Lee is a canny businessman with a stake in the future of the known world.