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IngratitudeThe Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature$
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erin Khuê Ninh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814758441

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814758441.001.0001

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The Caring of Jailers

The Caring of Jailers

Evelyn Lau, Catherine Liu

Chapter:
(p.81) 3 The Caring of Jailers
Source:
Ingratitude
Author(s):

erin Khuê Ninh

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814758441.003.0004

This chapter argues that between the era of Wong's Fifth Chinese Daughter and that of Evelyn Lau's Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid and Catherine Liu's Oriental Girls Desire Romance, economic relations within the family have evolved in response to changing opportunities for the model minority. Second-generation children become viable capital investments, raised to enter profitable math- and science-based professional fields now open to them, in order to repay their parents' suffering with significant consumer goods. In this context, the unprofitable pursuit of literature can become an overdetermined act of self-preservation and disobedience, and an interesting precursor to other forms of masochistic rebellion: drug addictions, suicide, or running away from home. In revisiting model minority discourse, the chapter asserts that because of the immigrant family's commitment to capitalist ideals, a model child is required to be a model minority, dutiful and grateful to both family and nation.

Keywords:   Jade Wong, Evelyn Lau, Catherine Liu, model minority, second-generation children, masochistic rebellion, capitalist ideals, model child

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