Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age by Jennifer Ho

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By Jennifer Ho

This interdisciplinary learn examines the subject of intake in Asian American literature, connection representations of cooking and consuming with ethnic id formation. utilizing 4 discrete modes of identification--historic delight, consumerism, mourning, and fusion--Jennifer Ho examines how Asian American youth problem and revise their cultural legacies and scan with substitute ethnic affiliations via their relationships to nutrients.

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Chin's central message about "yellow" pride is summed up by King's explanation for his cooking style of the first night New Year banquet: "I will restore ways that have become abandoned and recover knowledge that has been lost" (DD 63). 1 5 Thus, Chin uses a recurring image of dried food 30 Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age Novels reconstituted and transformed through cooking as a symbol for the reinstatement of Chinese into American history—the recovery of lost knowledge.

Although only one of these food scenes, their consumption of noodles on a train headed for Carson City, Nevada, makes it into the film, in the director's commentary, Dey explains his rationale for the subplot: "Originally I wanted to show the guards constantly eating because my experience in China when I went over there was that everything was centered around eating. We'd always be eating these massive eighteencourse meals, and so I came up with this idea that the guards at the end of the movie were going to become these chefs and open up the first Chinese restaurant in the West.

Using cooking and construction as the two central tropes of reconstituting Asian American history, Chin subverts the emasculating stereotype that links Chinese men with food in popular culture. Through his characterizations of King and Donald, and his depictions of food as the vehicle of "yellow" history and pride, Chin challenges both late 19th century and mid-20th century portraits of timid 40 Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age Novels and effeminate Chinese cooks and affirms the virility of Asian American men through a reclamation of the kitchen as an arena of pride and power.

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