Paper 1 - Two Faced: The Duality of the Narrator on His...

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Two Faced: The Duality of the Narrator on His Opinion of Chinese Americans in “Wan Lee, The Pagan” Actions are stronger than words. At times, people reveal the inner workings of their beliefs more through their interactions with and descriptions of people around them than through their “truthful” confessions about how they think they view the world. Though “Wan Lee” is a fictional tale, the same theory applies to the narrator. Although the narrator in “Wan Lee, The Pagan” considers his point of view of the Chinese immigrants to be favorable, his actions betray his words as they reveal his true stereotypical nature that is embedded into his mind. The narrator’s descriptions of Chinese customs reflect his ignorance and contempt for the very culture that he is supposedly defending. When he walks into Hop Sing’s warehouse, he comments, “there was the old array of uncouth-looking objects…the same singular blending of the grotesque and…the same endless suggestions of frivolity and fragility” (196). All of the adjectives used by the narrator have negative connotations. He describes the items in the Chinese warehouse as “uncouth” and “grotesque” both of which create images of strange, foreign objects that belong in a freak museum and not in the civilized world. Also, there is no sense of the
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This essay was uploaded on 02/22/2008 for the course ENGL 111 taught by Professor Chang,steven during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Paper 1 - Two Faced: The Duality of the Narrator on His...

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