American Born Chinese (Chapters 1-6) Study Guide

Panel
Squares or rectangles that contain a single scene.

Gutters
The spaces between panels

Dialogue Balloons/Speech Bubbles
Contains communication between/among characters.

Thought Balloons
Contain a character’s thoughts.

Captions
Contain information about a scene or character.

Sound Effects/Onamonapia
Visual sound clues (example: Wonk! Pow!)

Foreshadowing
Hinting at something that will happen later in the book.

Priming is similar to repetition because it shows something happening several times, but at different times of the story. Priming examples are often shown at the beginning of the graphic novel, and is used throughout the rest of it so the readers will recognize it.
What is priming?

Monkey King’s 4 disciplines have certain backgrounds and sound effects used whenever he uses them. Throughout the story, whenever he uses them, they have these backgrounds and sound effects.
What is an example of priming in American Born Chinese?

Monkey King, Jin, and Chin-Kee.
What are the three story lines in ABC?

Monkey King finds out about this dinner party because he could smell the food from his kingdom. He had to wait a very long line to get in, but was still very excited to go. Once Monkey King got in, the guard asked him to leave because he had no shoes. The Monkey King was angered, and explained that he was a deity and a king too. The guard told him “You may be a king, you may even be a deity, but you are still a monkey”. In frustration and embarrassment, Monkey King went insane and attacked everyone at the party, using his four disciplines.
Describe the Monkey King’s experience at the dinner party in Chapter 1.

Monkey King notices his “monkey smell” and wants to get rid of his hair, and to no longer be a monkey. To do this, in Chapter 4, he shape shifts to look taller, and defeats almost all of the other gods to prove to them he is a deity, and not a monkey.
What does Monkey King notice and want to get rid of at the end of Chapter 1? How does he do this in Chapter 4?

The world around you has a huge effect on your life and your decisions.
What does the Chinese parable in Chapter 2 mean?

The parable foreshadows that Jin’s new surroundings in a American suburb will have a big effect on him.
What does the parable foreshadow?

The herbalist’s wife tells Jin that “It’s easy to become anything you wish, so as long as you forfeit your soul.”. This is important because Jin “forfeits his soul” by becoming more like an American child and abandoning his Chinese heritage after kids bullied him for being different. (For example, eating a sandwich instead of dumplings at lunch).
What does the herbalist’s wife say to Jin? Why is this important?

The kids make fun of him by calling him “bucktooth” and saying that he eats dogs and cats.
How do the kids at school make fun of Jin for being Chinese?

Jin wants Wei-Chen to speak English, because he hates being reminded of his culture that he was humiliated for. This is similar to the Monkey King’s story, because he was reminded that he was just a monkey once he got home and could smell himself after he wasn’t let into the dinner party for being a monkey.
Why does Jin want Wei-Chen to speak English? How is this similar to the Monkey King and being a monkey?

Jin avoided being associated with being Chinese after kids picked on him for his race. He did this by eating sandwiches during lunch and telling Wei-Chen to “speak English, this is America.” after he talked to him Chinese.
How did Jin change from the beginning of Chapter 2 to the end?

A TV sitcom. We know this because of the laugh track (“Hahaha!”) shown at the bottom of the panels.
What do the Chin-Kee chapters take place in? How do we know this?

Chin-Kee’s eyes are completely closed, has buck teeth, and he uses “r”s instead of “l”s and vice versa (Example: “Herro Amellica!)
What are the negative Chinese stereotypes of Chin-Kee?

Danny is the typical boy with a obvious crush on a girl, and Melanie is the typical love interest.
What are the stereotypes of Danny and Melanie?

Invulnerability to fire, drowning, wounds, and cold, growing larger, smaller, creating clones out of hair and shapeshifting.
What new disciplines does the Monkey King learn in Chapter 3?

Tze-Yo-Tzuh tells the Monkey King that he created everything in existence, including him, and he was meant to be a monkey.
What does Tze-Yo-Tzuh tell the Monkey King regarding him being a monkey?

The author illustrates Monkey King literally breaking through a panel, and flying into the white space behind them/the gutters.
What does the author do to show the Monkey King “flying through the boundaries of reality itself”?

These pillars are revealed to actually be Tze-Yo-Tzuh’s fingers, and the Monkey King writes his name and urinates on them to mark his territory. The fact that these were his fingers proves that the Monkey King is never out of his reach.
When escaping Tze-Yo-Tzuh’s reach, the Monkey King finds five pillars. What are these pillars revealed to be and what does the Monkey King do on them?

Tze-Yo-Tzuh buries the Monkey King under a mountain of rocks so he can’t escape for five hundred years.
When the Monkey King challenges him, what does Tze-Yo-Tzuh do?

7th grade.
Jin is in what grade in Chapter 5?

Amelia Harris
What girl does Jin have a crush on in Chapter 5?

Greg.
Who does Jin think Amelia likes?

That in Taiwan, boys under 18 are made fun of for liking a girl. Jin points out how he is acting Taiwaneese, while they are in America. (Similar to how Jin tells him to speak English in Chpater 2)
What does Wei-Chen say when Jin tells him he likes Amelia?

Wei-Chen is still connected to his Taiwaneese heritage and often talks about it, while Jin has melted into an American. We can see this by the foods they are eating, how they dress, and how they speak.
How are Wei-Chen and Jin different in Chapter 5?

He changes his hairstyle to look like Greg’s
What does Jin do in an attempt to get Amelia to like him?

That Jin should embrace who he really is (Chinese), and people will still like him.
What lesson is Wei Chen teaching Jin when he dates Suzy Nakamura?

They get locked in the closet while trying to look for foods for the animals.
What happens to Wei-Chen and Amelia while taking care of their animals for Biology?

At the end of Chapter 5, Jin asks Amelia out on a date. Jin says that the rest felt like a “blur”, so the sides of the panel are blurry, scribbly and white (blanked out).
What happens at the end of Chapter 5? How is it illustrated?

Steve is the stereotypical jock who loves sports, is a large size, is tall and teasing of other students. Chin-Kee is also shown literally eating a cat, and getting every question in every class correct. (Stereotype that Asians are smart.) A cliche in the chapter is how Amelia “just wants to be friends” with Danny.
What are more stereotypes/cliches throughout Chapter 6?

He urinates in it as a prank. (Ew!)
What does Chin-Kee do to Steve’s Coke?

Danny thinks Melanie won’t go out with him because he is related to Chin-Kee, but the real reason is because she just wants to stay good friends.
Why does Danny think Melanie doesn’t want to go out with him?

Danny takes offense to this because he thinks Steve is referencing how Chin-Kee peed in his Coke, and is associating him with Chin-Kee.
Why does Danny take offense to Steve saying “I’ll buy you a Coke”?

🙂
Make sure you know how to use transitions and know how to make sentence long transitions.

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