Essay 3 .docx - 1 Fraternal twins from different eras My...

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Fraternal twins from different eras My essay will comprise of the comparisons between Ben Tanaka, the protagonist in Shortcomings, and Danny Kim, the protagonist from Yellow , and their roles in representing a group of Asian-Americans who only wish to be identified by the label of Americans. Both of them carry a brand of resentment towards cultivating their heritage, which resides in their need for approval and affection from Caucasians of the opposite gender, constant need for validation of their American identity (and constant need to reaffirm it), and gradual realization that they cannot, in fact, abandon their Asian-American identity. These manifestations of the same role are different in many ways: they have different backgrounds, different career paths (different economic stability that came with the different career paths), and different paths to acceptance of the fact that they will always be defined by their Asian-American identity. The main function of their role is to showcase that the stereotypes that accompany the label of being Asian- American will always prejudice the way they are treated, and potentially, even the opportunities they get in life (romantic or otherwise). Although they are still involved in Asian culture, both characters despise Asian-Americans who go above and beyond to preserve their culture, and in their eyes, refuse to embrace American culture in its entirety. This form of assimilation lies in successful romantic ventures with White women for both of them; they believe that they have to ‘settle’ for women of their own race, and that to aim ‘higher’ is to aim to pursue White women. This degree of this sentiment measured by Ben Tanaka is measured by the differences in how ‘supportively’ and ‘genuinely’ he reacts to the Asian-American film festival by Miko, and the ‘radical’ artistic interests of Autumn. In regards to the film, he says to Miko: “I mean, why dies everything have to be some big ‘statement’ about 1
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race? Don’t any of these people just want to make a movie that’s good ?” (13). The emphasis on the good highlights how Tanaka debases any effort taken to preserve Asian-American heritage; at
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