University of Washington Heaven and Earth Le Ly Peer Reviews
Write peer reviews on two papers. The third attachment is an example on how to write a peer review. At least write 20 comments on each papers.
Children of Little Saigon
Growing up generally includes a journey that leads to the identification of a person’s
character as a result. The path is different for individuals even within the same culture. For the
children adopted as part of Operation Babylift, the journey was wrought with issues concerning
identity. Many children were not orphans and instead were stripped of their families in Vietnam.
Some were children of American soldiers and Vietnamese mothers, while others lost their
families in the fighting or were abandoned. American families welcomed some of the children
into their homes, but as the children grew up, they faced discrimination and issues surrounding
their identity, to associate with their Vietnamese identity or an American. Children of Operation
Babylift encountered similar struggles to the second-generation Vietnamese American children.
Children of Vietnamese Americans had parents to rely and depend on whereas in most cases the
children of the operation did not.
Second-generation Vietnamese American children had the backbone of their parents to
lean on. Interviews of children of Vietnamese immigrants were conducted to determine the
importance of parental relations to them in connection to their concept of self. From the study,
key values were found to be “respect for the family, commitment to honor the family and
community.”1 As these children have grown up, they have developed strong ties to their
community through their parents. This has led to strong connections to their concept of selfidentity tied to their familial and community relations. Their interactions and ties to other people
play an important role in their self-identity and this coincides with the Eastern concept of self
their parents grew up with the “emphasis on attending to others, fitting in, and harmonious
Tan Phan, “Interdependent Self: Self-perceptions of Vietnamese-American Youths,” Adolescence 40, no. 158
interdependence.”2 The key values expressed by Vietnamese Americans are the importance of
family and this relates to the Eastern concept of self with the heightened importance of
community. Their parents have dealt with the “language and cultural barriers, poverty, and
discrimination in the mainstream American society” and can therefore better prepare them for
life in the United States.3
Biracial children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women adopted by white families
would struggle with their identity more than other immigrant children. In Aimee Phan’s We
Should Never Meet, Kim, a young woman half-Vietnamese and half-white, is out of the foster
system, working and living with Vinh, a young Vietnamese gangster. Both characters are
orphans and have grown up together within the foster system. The connection between the two
stems from their bond established as children and has continued into their adult lives. Kim
wishes to leave Vinh and the gang behind to set out on her own. Kim appears to be struggling
more with her identity at this point in her life than Vinh. Vinh appears to disconnect from the
possibility that his parents could be alive he states, “my parents are dead” and Kim knows this as
a “pronouncement he truly believed.” 4 Kim describes herself and Vinh as different than the
other children because they did not cry or “create elaborate excuses for” the absence of their
parents.5 Despite Kim accepting the absence of her parents, she opts to contact her social worker
to locate her mother and blatantly ignores the opportunity to find her father. While Kim wonders
about her mother’s existence, her relationship with a prospective maternal figure is developing.
Kim meets the Vietnamese shopkeeper as she tries to steal a beeper from the shop. Eventually,
Jun Sung Hong, “Understanding Vietnamese Youth Gangs in America: An Ecological Systems Analysis,”
Aggression and Violent Behavior 15, no. 4 (2010), 254.
Aimee Phan, “We Should Never Meet,” in We Should Never Meet: Stories (New York: St. Martin’s, 2004), 36.
Kim meets the woman again at the shop and her attention is drawn to the jade jewelry. The jade
catches her attention a few times and Phan highlights this as the shopkeeper approaches Kim
about the jewelry. Kim inspects the woman’s jade bracelet and notes “lots of Vietnamese women
wore them” and generally the bracelets were a gift from family.6 Later on, the woman gifts a jade
bracelet to Kim as an early birthday present. The gift of the jade bracelet symbolized her
relationship with the shopkeeper to be familial. From Kim’s perspective, the shopkeeper must
view her as family to gift her with a jade bracelet. Kim appears to be seeking out a maternal
connection in her attempt to find her mother through her social worker and she believes her gift
from the shopkeeper establishes their relationship to be of mother and daughter or similar despite
only recently meeting the woman.
Vinh has the gang and plans to increase the gang’s reputation across state lines. In
Visitors, Phan appears to depict Vinh as believing himself to be above some of the other children
from Operation Babylift. Vinh believes the others to be “selling out to the Americans” as they
get jobs and seems to think he is better off. 7 He believes he knows and understands the
relationship between Americans and Vietnamese he mentions this in his conversation with the
old man, Bac Nguyen. Vinh’s interactions with Bac Nguyen appear to be partially genuine as he
helps the old man with his groceries and listens to him speak about his late wife but ultimately,
he still views the old man as a target to rob. Vinh has no connections to the community other
than the gang. He sees no value in the other members of the community in Little Saigon other
than their possessions. Unlike the second-generation Vietnamese Americans, Vinh has no desire
or connection to family. His concept of self seems to be based on the Western psychology of
Aimee Phan, “Visitors,” in We Should Never Meet: Stories (New York: St. Martin’s, 2004), 103.
“autonomous self” separate from the social order.8 Vinh views himself to be outside of the
category of a community member of Little Saigon as a Vietnamese American and outside of the
category of American. He appears to view himself in a category of other. Vinh finds himself to
be in this category of other because he believes himself to be above everyone else as he believes
he understands the true relationship between American and Vietnamese people. Bac Nguyen
talks about his family and most notably his wife in his interaction with Vinh. This establishes
Bac’s value of family to be greater than Vinh’s. The brutality in which he beats Bac suggests Bac
represented the people he disliked, the Vietnamese from his perspective that has sold out to the
Americans. The Vietnamese that possesses what he does not, appreciation of the value of family
and community ties. As he beats Bac, Bac prompts Vinh to think of his parent’s feelings
regarding his actions. Vinh believes his parents to be dead or at the very least dead to him as
their presence in his life has been nonexistent. Bac’s comment on Vinh’s parents seems to incite
him further into beating Bac.
For the children of Operation Babylift, there also exists a difference in the way each
orphan was perceived by Americans. There were the children adopted and the children left to go
through the foster system. Vinh views the orphans adopted by American families as “golden
children” who no longer consider themselves Vietnamese and the other orphans left behind in the
foster system like him understood their position in the United States.9 Not American and
therefore a minority that does not benefit from American norms nor views. The orphans in the
foster system likely lack adults fulfilling parental roles in their lives. They also likely lack the
role models the second-generation Vietnamese American children had to look up to. This leads
the value of family and community ties important to the Eastern concept of self to be lost upon
Phan, “Interdependent Self: Self-perceptions of Vietnamese-American Youths,” 425.
Phan, “Visitors,” 103
the orphans of Operation Babylift. And therefore, leads to a sense of alienation among the
orphans as they are likely “not well-integrated in their own community” and may opt to seek that
connection elsewhere such as a gang. 10 There are likely many factors that lead an individual to
join a gang such as poverty, “a disruptive social environment,” and alienation.11 There also is a
stark contrast between both Kim and Vinh as they perceive and interact with their community
In Visitors/We Should Never Meet, Aimee Phan introduces an older Vietnamese character
to interact with Vinh or Kim. Vinh’s connection with the old man appears to be shallower than
Kim’s relationship with the shopkeeper as it was formed over a day and Kim’s over three weeks.
Kim’s relationship with the shopkeeper forms as her life is starting to change as she attempts to
move out of Vinh’s apartment, and her new connection appears to be an indication of her growth
and development. Whereas Vinh is not going through such a change and opts for the
improvement of the gang and uses the old man as a small step in that direction. Both stories
highlight the aftermath of Operation Babylift through the circulation of the orphans through the
foster system and their interactions with the community within Little Saigon. The key values of
the other Vietnamese immigrants of family and community appear to be lost on Vinh, but Kim
seems to yearn for these values as she seeks a maternal figure. Kim actively seeks out
connections within her community as she develops and moves on from her life from Vinh and
the gang. Noticeable differences exist between the orphans of Operation Babylift and the
children of Vietnamese immigrants. Their values of family and community attribute to their
concept of self on a scale from none like Vinh to some like Kim or heavily influenced like the
other Vietnamese Americans.
Hong, “Understanding Vietnamese Youth Gangs in America: An Ecological Systems Analysis,” 255
Hong, Jun Sung. “Understanding Vietnamese Youth Gangs in America: An Ecological Systems
Analysis.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 15, no. 4 (August 2010): 253–60.
Phan, Aimee. “We Should Never Meet.” In We Should Never Meet: Stories, 25–54. New York:
St. Martin’s, 2004.
Phan, Aimee. “Visitors.” In We Should Never Meet: Stories, 87–112. New York: St. Martin’s,
2004. “Proceedings of the Asiatic Exclusion League, 1907-1913.” In Major Problems in
Asian American History, edited by Lon Kurashige and Alice Yang, 139–41. Boston, MA:
Cengage Learning, 2017.
Phan, Tan. “Interdependent self: self-perceptions of Vietnamese-American
youths.” Adolescence 40, no. 158 (2005): 425+. Gale Academic OneFile (accessed March
In the end of the movie Heaven & Earth, Le Ly finally comes back to her home, a village in
Vietnam. When she’s walking on the farmland, standing on the earth of home, she says: “I has
come home, yes, but home has changed. And I would always be in the between: south, north, east,
west, peace, war, Vietnam, America.It is my fate to be in between, heaven and earth.”1She used to
believe the United States is “heaven” compared to Vietnam during The Vietnam War, but when she
came back to her home, the distinction between heaven and earth becomes unclear. Moreover, the
idea, “be in the between” is not only her thought, but it’s the feeling shared by all the races, such as
Chinese American, Japanese American, Vietnamese American and even the African American, in
the post war America except the white.However, each race respond to integration with different
ways and gestures, because of their different backgrounds, but the similarity is each race
experienced revolutions when they faced to a new culture, a new nation that is dominated by white
people.I’m going mainly to use Tema Okun and Kenneth jones’ white supremacy culture as the
tertiary source to analyze and prove that the main difficulties for those race facing post war
integration is because of white supremacy, and use other sources, such as Far’s The Story of One
White Woman Who Married a Chinese and Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Other Man to show Chinese
American and Vietnamese American address a comparatively special issue during the post war
integration, shackle of tradition. In the first and second paragraph, I’ll talk about the relations of
African American and Japanese American to some characteristics of white supremacy, and for the
third and fourth page, I’ll lay stress on how Chinese American and Vietnamese Americans respond
to their own culture tradition and characteristics of white supremacy during the post war integration.
The integration means culture assimilation in some degree and it means people from other
countries tend to adapt to American customs.Especially after the war, more races immigrated to the
Heaven & Earth, directed by Oliver Stone, performances by Hiep Thi Le, Tommy Lee Jones.
Warner Brothers, 1993
United States, and the only way for them to live in this new land is assimilating their culture to
America.This rhetoric was shared by President Roosevelt, who claimed in 1906 that if the Japanese
acts like American, and live in the American style, the government and the whole society should
treat them well, and should not exclude them.2This statement means all immigrants, but not only
Japanese, should act in the American style, or they’ll not be accepted by the American society.To
be integrated in the American society certainly means one race have to give up some characters of
their own culture, to cater the American standards and habits.The deepest racial conflict in the
United States is African American, without any doubts.Since the mainly difficulties for the African
American to be accepted and valued equally by the society which is dominated by the white people
is their color.Black people were in the very center of the racial issue in America.Thus, the
integration of black people in the United States is the most important, since the success of the
integration will be the symbol of the victory of integration of all other races in this nation, and it
means a comparative peaceful way to address race issue.Like Gunnar Myrdal said: “If America in
actual practice could show the world a progressive trend by which the Negro finally became
integrated into modern democracy, all mankind would have reason to believe that peace, progress,
and order are feasible.”3However, to be integrated was not an easy work for all African American at
that time, because integration into democracy means earning respect and equality, which was not an
easy work for black Americans, and the major reasons was a aspect of which supremacy:
perfectionism introduced by Tema Okun and Kenneth jones.For perfectionism, it tends to identify
what’s wrong and has little ability to identify what’s right.4At that time, black people in America
were valued as a inferior race having inferior intelligence and physical and were believed by white
supremacists that they were not able to create something in whatever fields as excellent as white
President Roosevelt Warns Against Anti-Japanese Racism” (1906).
Morey, Maribel. “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (Gunnar
Myrdal, 1944).” America in the World, 1776 to the Present : A Supplement to the Dictionary of
American History: A-L, 2016, 57-60.
Okun, Tema, and Kenneth Jones. “White supremacy culture.” Dismantling racism: A workbook for social
change groups, Durham, NC: Change Work. Retrieved from http://www. dismantlingracism.
org/Dismantling_Racism/liNKs_files/whitesupcul09. pdf (2000), page 1.
people did, which means white supremacists at that time believed that they were the only right, and
everyone ought to obey their rules.The consequence of it was lots of works created by African
Americans were not valued and appreciated in the society dominated by white people, and the only
way to pursue resonance and inspiration was protesting writing, which had dominated the black
literature for decades.The reason why this type of literature were so popular in black community
and culture is because after being treated as slaves and inhumanly for so many years, they needed
this kind of book to inspire their fellows, and this was a window to release their anger as well.When
the racial climate of America changed in 1956 as Arthur P. Davis asserts, the very first step of
integration is about literature and art, because he believe that even though the daily life of Negroes
had not changed, “we do have the spiritual climate which will eventually bring about complete
integration.”5Although the culture integration for black people means they have to “drop the special
tradition”, the income is the Negro writers are able to “ more towards the mainstream of American
literature.”6 “The special tradition” they gave up is their protesting writing, since as the time has
changed, the way to view white Americans as enemy would not work. The final goal of black
American is gaining the equality in the society, which means they wanted to be included in the
whole American culture.A lots of black writers and poets, including W.E.B Du Bois changed their
protesting writing to study on black people’s life issue and the conflict within their own culture.To
get rid of the hostile eye and to gain respect and peace by their talent is the progress of black people
in America, since the realization of hating each other is not a solution is the essential step to render
the ethnicity problem move to the next chapter.Like Robert G. Lee says, a promise of equality could
be achieved through individual effort, cultural assimilation and political accommodation, instead of
through political organization and community empowerment.7However, dropping their “special
Davis, Arthur. Integration and Race Literature” (1956). In Within the Circle: An Anthology of
African American Literary Criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present, edited by
Angelyn Mitchell, 156–61. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994, 157.
Lee, Robert. The Cold War Origins of the Model Minority Myth” (2010). In Asian American
Studies Now: A Critical Reader, edited by Jean Yu-wen, Shen Wu and Thomas Chen, 256–271.
Ithaca, NY: Rutgers University Press, 2010.
tradition”and trying to create works for other topics was also hard for African Americans, because
although climate had changed, they were still influenced by a branch of perfectionism, which is
“appreciation expressed usually directed to those who get most of the credit anyway.”8Because of
that, some famous writers, such as W.E.B Du Bois, were seen and appreciated, and his point would
be understood by more and more people, but white people in America at that time didn’t connect
those Black writers, artists to husbands of thousands of common African Americans, who were the
inspiration and final goal of those masterpieces, and some white people at that time still believe
those people were elites of the Black community and they were not able to represent all black
people, which means they could give applause to a certain group of people and their works, but they
cannot share equality to the entire race behind them.
In contrast to Chinese American and Vietnamese American, Japanese American did better in
post war integration, because the first generation Japanese Americans, Issei, had immigrated to
America before the war.They were educated in their homeland, and had a solid affectional tie to
their original nation, which means they came to American for earning money, looking for
opportunities to live a better life. Some of them may never recognize themselves as an “American”,
in the cultural sense. But their kids, the second generation Japanese Americans, the Nisei, were born
in America, and they recognized themselves as Americans, rather than Japanese.This should be the
racial issue to address of the US government, but when the Pearl Harbor incident happened,
everything changed.Most Japanese Americans were forced to get into camps, where were set up
especially for Japanese Americans.Since Japan bombed pearl Island and declared war on the United
States, US government decided to test the loyalty of those Japanese Americans, both Issei and
Nisei.Besides, the most famous history incident is the appearance of “no-no boy”, who was a label
of a group of people, composed by Nisei mostly.They were “no-no boy”, because they said no to
question 27 and 28 of “loyalty questionnaire”. They thought these questions were trap and their
loyalty to America cannot be judged by those two questions.In We Hereby Refuse, Hiroshi says the
Okun, Tema, and Kenneth Jones, “White supremacy culture”, 1.
reason why he refuses to answer those two questions is because American government treat him as
an enemy rather than a citizen, so he has.9 Those Nisei were born in America, and they were
educated and raised as an American. Letting them show their loyalty just like what their parents did
is absurd, since America is their home land, and they shall die for their country when the
government needs them, but they are treated as aliens and enemies, so they will not serve this
country like other citizens.The reason why US government made such a mistakable decision is
because of the “sense of urgency”, which means they’d like to sacrifice interests of communities of
color in order to win victories for white people, when their own benefit is threatened.10This manner
of US government undoubted conveyed an idea to those Japanese Americans or even all races in
Americans that they would never become real Americans and they haven’t been really accepted and
treated like US citizens.When the United States has war with their original country, they will be
questioned and treated like enemies, which not only definitely hurt hearts of Japanese Americans
who tried their best to integrate in American society and had done well for a long time but also
those people from other races in America.
For the Chinese American, the theory “sense of urgency” also works in study of post war
integration of Chinese Americans.Actually the notion, “yellow peril” had rooted in Americans’
hearts for a long time.In Jack London’s fiction The Unparalleled Invasion, China is imaged as an
super power for its huge population.Due to the fear of China, the United States cooperates with
some European countries to drop gas bombs by air force, and finally almost all Chinese are killed
by various diseases carried by gas bombs.11When the term, “yellow peril” was created, Japan like
China was another major oriental threat.However, “while post war Japan became America’s junior
partner, the People’s Republic of China became its principal enemy.”12Facing a rising super
Abe, Frank and Tamiko Nimura, We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime
Incarceration, illustrated by Ross Ishikawa and Matt Sasaki, Chin Music Press, 2021, 71.
Okun, Tema, and Kenneth Jones, “White supremacy culture”, 2.
London, Jack, “The Unparalleled Invasion” (1910), In Short Stories of Jack London, Edited by Earle
Labor, Robert Leitz and Milo Shepard, 270–81. New York/Toronto: Macmillan, 1990.
Lee, Robert, “The Cold War Origins of the Model Minority Myth” (2010), In Asian American Studies
Now: A Critical Reader, edited by Jean Yu-wen, Shen Wu and Thomas Chen, 256–271. Ithaca, NY: Rutgers
University Press, 2010, 262.
country, America made effort to isolate communist China, economically and diplomatically, to
confront the “containing” expansion of Chinese influence in Asia and the Third World, when China
entered the Korean War in 1951.13The logic behind this could be China is a potential treat that
could take away America status in the world and also take its power, which might change the power
distribution of the whole world and menace America’s dominance.Thus, except the “sense of
urgency”, “power hoarding” can explain this as well. “Power hoarding” means those with power
deal threatened when anyone suggests changes in how things should be done in the
organization,”and the “organization” here means the international relations, when it relates to the
context.Chinese Americans have a tight shackle of tradition as well.The traditional tie didn’t only
work on the first generation Chinese, but also worked on their kids.Unlike the Nisei, the secondary
generation Chinese were still controlled by the tradition brought by their parents.That’s why there
are lots of China town located in several main cities in the United States, and each family or several
people who have the same last name has some organizations, like “Wang’s family organization.”
Thus, facing to the ethnic integration, the Chinese American behaved comparatively conservative
and resistant. They might be able to speak fluent English, make money in an American way and
dress like Americans, but they keep believing their home is not here, not even China, but the
Chinese traditions, which rooted in their heart deeply.In the movie, Eat a bowl of tea, after Mei
came to America, she thought her life will be changed, because she finally was able to get rid of
those strict Chinese traditions and live as an American.However, after Ben, her husband, found he
had erection difficulty, and could not give his dad, a first generation Chinese American, a grandson,
Mei and Ben were under pressure of the whole Chinese organization, because everyone talked their
scandal without any respect of privacy. Because of the news of Mei had affair with another Chinese
American, she and her husband have to move to another city to live, for escaping from the scandal
that was laughed by everyone in their community.For a new Chinese American, a new bride of an
America born Chinese, Mei was in the between of the America culture and the Chinese traditions
that hunted her wherever she go, like a ghost.14Besides, even for those more independent Chinese
Americans, their traditional tie has impact on them as well.In Far’s The Story of One White Woman
Who Married a Chinese, the Chinese husband has a theory that his son will be great, if he’s not
ashamed of his Chinese half.15 During the postwar integration, the Chinese American were in the
dilemma of cultural recognition. However, this kind of transitional tie, unlike the pressure of the
strict Chinese family rules, necessary, since this cultural confidence is essential for every race
which experienced cultural integration in the United States.If a race, get rid of all their traditions
and all their proud to their background, the race will be integrated in the United States society
perfectly.However, those people will lose their own speciality, just like a person lose their own
personality, which means those people will become babies without history and they will not have
self-consciousness and will be not able to judge the culture they’re taught.
Vietnamese Americans had the same dilemma as the Chinese Americans, which is the issue
of “be in the between”.The difference between these two races, however, is Vietnamese Americans
was brought to America by the war.Most of them are south Vietnamese, who is the opposite of the
Communists, and the reason why they were brought to the United States is, like Vinh says in the
Visitor, “They destroyed our country, then they left.To ease their guilty conscience, they took some
of us in.It’s really simple.”16Besides, the United States supported the south Vietnam, and failed in
the war, so people from south Vietnam escaped to the United States because the Communists had
taken in charge of Vietnam.These people are just like the Kuomintang escaped to Taiwan island,
when they lost the China civil war.However, unlike the Kuomintang, the south Vietnamese engaged
in a totally different society, and while they tried to be integrated into American society, the shadow
Eat a Bowl of Tea, directed by Wayne Wang, performances by Cora Miao, Russell Wong.
Columbia Pictures, 1989.
Far, Sui Sin (Edith Eaton), The Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese” and Her
Chinese Husband” (1910), In Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings. Edited by Amy Ling and
Annette White, 94–110. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1995, 109.
Phan, Aimee. Visitors.” In We Should Never Meet: Stories, 87–112. New York: St. Martin s,
2004. Proceedings of the Asiatic Exclusion League, 1907-1913.” In Major Problems in Asian
American History, edited by Lon Kurashige and Alice Yang, 139–41. Boston, MA: Cengage
Learning, 2017, 96.
of the war still impacted on them.In the Visitor, Vinh tell the old Bac that: “Why are we here when
we lost so many people there?Shouldn’t we be with them?It seems unfair that while the people we
love are rotting inn Vietnam, we’re here enjoying a better life.”17In the American society, the
difficulty they faced is not only the difference of cultures, but the wounds of the war as well.They
lived in America and enjoyed a better life contrast to those people they left behind, but they were
suffered by the pain caused by the American military.The pain came from the death of their beloved
ones and the loss of their beloved country.Vietnamese Americans like Vinh were 1.5 generation,
since they belong neither to the first generation of adult immigrants nor to the second generation of
U.S.—born children—are “a bridge between two cultures,”and those bridges were essential for post
war integration for Vietnamese Americans.18They had a specific historical position, because they
were American allies and because the Viet Nam War was lost, Vietnamese Americans have been
pushed out of American and Viet Nam history, which means they had no way back, and they has to
make a choice that whether accepting all Americans or becoming outsiders for their entire
life.19Therefore, even though, the US government gave them lots of life support, such as helping
them find step parents, and education, they still had agony for “be in the between”, especially for
those youngsters like Vinh, the way they confronted this pain and the dilemma they faced in the
United States is violence, they were those who didn’t adapt and overcome those barriers
successfully, so they have turned to gang and delinquent activities.20For Le Ly, when her
Americans husband points the shot gun at her head, she sees a vision of the fire, helicopter, and the
night she was raped.21Therefore, the wound of the war seemed disappear when they were in a more
Pelaud, Isabelle Thuy. This Is All I Choose to Tell. Asian American History and Culture. Temple
University Press, 2010, 50.
Hong, Jun Sung, ”Understanding Vietnamese Youth Gangs in America: An Ecological Systems Analysis,”
Aggression and Violent Behavior 15, no. 4 (2010), 254.
Heaven & Earth, directed by Oliver Stone, performances by Hiep Thi Le, Tommy Lee Jones.
Warner Brothers, 1993
modern and beautiful society, but it still rooted in their memory and is easily triggered by the fear
that feels like the same which was brought by American military.
As a democratic country, a model for developed countries, the United States is like a kind of
challenger to challenge those most difficult and essential issue of the entire human race.The
“American dream” is not only just a dream about earring big money and living a better, but also a
huge blueprint for the possibility of the multicultural integration, which is imperfect, dynamic small
window for forecasting how human race existence on the same earth.Due to the development of the
history and the development of knowledge, the small window will become bigger and bigger and
tend to be more perfect.In this process, making mistakes is inevitable, but to modify the details, and
having courage to admit some faults are more important.On the basis of this, pursing the right path
towards the final goal will be possible.The role of the United States in the world should be one of
those fearless, eagles to try, to be hurt, to progress, to correct itself and pursue the the wider sky and
the brighter sun.
Throughout the first part of this course we have learned about yellow peril and the
rising tide of color. While ‘Dark Princess’ was in the rising tide of color, it can be related to
both of these topics. Throughout this paper I will be exploring Du Bois’s writing and views
on race. Whether he purposefully perpetrated the orientalist views we explored in yellow
peril or did he try to make it a positive view. What were Du Bois’ views on race and how did
he show it to us.
He was very influential In his writing and ideology because at the time whiteness
dominated the culture and everything around him. He was known for being an activist and for
pushing for the rights of his people through his own writing and some other methods but
mainly through his writing. He created multiple stories featuring African-Americans as the
main character which was not super hard at the time true dark princess he created this
African-American man who would run for political office and his character, “Matthew” was
complex and had multiple ideals that weren’t common in that time at least not common to
see in media.
Du Bois was very honest about how he saw the world especially through multiple
characters such as Sara was there as a support system for Matthew but it not just that she was
pushing for rights of people and one of the reason she was able to do that is because she was
white passing or at least not African American passing as she was referred to as. Sara gets
things because she is white passing which is what Du Bois wants to illustrate in the fourth
section of ‘Dark Princess.” She’s a black woman pushing to help people and the only reason
at least the main reason people listen to her is because she’s passing. I believe he makes her
this way because it illustrates what experience was like for Black people especially black
women during that time period. He purposely has this character that is pushing in society and
is moving things along in society and of this certain skin tone because without that she
wouldn’t be able to get as much done. He wants to make it obvious that this is the reason. He
adds in the part about how she is able to get into the KKK office without them really
questioning if she is black. He has her be hired because she is white passing and that will
help move along the things that Sammy wants. Sara is still black woman but it doesn’t mean
that she doesn’t have more privileges because of this. I believe that is why Du Bois made her
that way he wants it to be clear. He also doesn’t want to make it unrealistic because he is
reflecting society and so it’s already hard enough for women at that time so it would be even
harder for a black woman.
“He is civilization – he is the high goal toward which the world blindly gropes; high in
birth and perfect in courtesy, filled with wide, deep and intimate knowledge of the world’s
past.”1 This quote is about Kautilya’s view on the Japanese Baron. How he is in charge of the
‘underworld.’ I think it’s interesting that Du Bois chose to make him this way. The way
Kautilya thinks of him is as if it’s shocking he is that way.
“Only Talent served from the great Reservoir of All Men of All Races, of All Classes,
of All Ages, of Both Sexes – this is real Aristocracy, real Democracy – the only path to the
great and final Freedom which you so well call Divine Anarchy.”2 While this is Matthew it is
a really good description of what Du Bois thinks about race and the American justice and
political system. He shows in dark princess that he believed that all should be equal. you can
see this through Matthews point of view. I believe that’s the biggest issue with Du Bois’s
dark princess is the subtle orientalism. Though this quote is very different than what are
W.E.B. Du Bois, Dark princess: A romance (1928) (New York: Oxford University Press,
sometimes seen in the book. I do not believe the boys did it on purpose I believe he just
subtly perpetrated some of the orientalist issues seen during that time period.
“He had no illusions as to American democracy. He had learned as a porter and in jail
how America was ruled. He knew the power of organized crime, self-indulgence, of industry,
business, corporations, finance, commerce. They all paid for what they wanted the
government to do for them–for their immunity, their appetites; for their incomes, for justice
and the police.”3 Throughout the book Du Bois is very honest about American democracy
and how he views it. It is able to be manipulated easily so that white people in power can get
by unaffected by anything. While Matthew had to fight. This quote is a very clear
interpretation of that.
Throughout a journal article called. “Three Theories of the Race of W. E. B. Du Bois”
there is a breakdown of how he discusses race throughout his life and throughout his work he
is an active but he also has a specific view how it is important to some but not to others. “The
three theories of race of W. E. B. Du Bois follow this pat- tern: race as peculiar shading, or
veil, on the achievements of the great individual; race as the determining feature of the
subject; race as of some importance in a person’s life, but of no particular importance to the
narrative of history, which is toward the elimi- nation of race.”4 You can see if these
particular theories throughout the dark princess quotes and throughout dark princess how it is
important to many of the characters. You can see how many of them believe that it is
Mostern, Kenneth. “Three Theories of the Race of W. E. B. Du Bois.” Cultural Critique,
no. 34 (1996): 54.
important to work on and have equality but it shouldn’t be important. How race shouldn’t
even matter, but it does.
Du Bois used to character Sara to show the privilege that others have because while
she is a black woman, she does have the privilege that many white people have or at least she
has a part of that. He uses Matthew to show what he thinks of the American democracy and
what he thinks of it at that time. He creates this whole world around his viewpoint.
While he may accidentally perpetrate some stereotypes and orientalism. He creates a
world where over and over again he states that he believes all should be equal. Even if he
uses some of these things in a negative way I do not believe he meant it to be seen in that
way. I believe he meant to make it as realistic as he could and as reflective of the world state
as he could.
Though many believe that Du Bois did this in an almost selfish way. . “…Less
debatable is that the effort to do so led him to talk about the significance of race in a way that
peculiarly captured his own situation, even as it gave his readers striking ways to think about
theirs.” 5 Or that he believed that African should not be part of the identity of black
americans. “While rejecting imputations of racial inequality, he portrayed “African” and
“American” elements in the “divided self” that were, despite some ambivalences,
manifestations of innate, indelible characteristics.”6 He was even known for seeing those
from Africa as lesser than.
Bruce, Dickson D. “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Dilemma of ‘Race.’” American Literary
History 7, no. 2 (1995): 340.
The real question is, did Du Bois truly believe what he wrote in Dark Princess? Or
what he said in his debate?
Bruce, Dickson D. “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Dilemma of ‘Race.’” American Literary
History 7, no. 2 (1995): 334–43. http://www.jstor.org/stable/489840.
Du Bois, W.E.B. Dark princess: A romance (1928). New York: Oxford University Press,
Du Bois, W.E.B. and Lothrop Stoddard. Report of Debate Conducted by the Chicago Forum:
“Shall the Negro Be Encouraged to Seek Cultural Equality?” Chicago: Chicago Forum
Mostern, Kenneth. “Three Theories of the Race of W. E. B. Du Bois.” Cultural Critique, no.
34 (1996): 27–63. https://doi.org/10.2307/1354611