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2017

San Jose State University

Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

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Why Are The Children Dying?: Mixed-Race Children In Chang-Rae Lee’S First Five Novels, Holly E. Martin Oct 2017

Why Are The Children Dying?: Mixed-Race Children In Chang-Rae Lee’S First Five Novels, Holly E. Martin

Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies

The mixed-race children in each of Lee’s first five novels constitute an overarching set of symbols, reflecting, at first, society’s intolerance of miscegenation and its resulting mixed offspring, as demonstrated in the dysfunctional behaviors of the parent(s) (or society) and the death or disappearance of the mixed-race child. Then, later in the novel, a second mixed-race child’s birth, or its impending birth, signifies an acquired racial awareness on the part of the parent(s) and an overcoming of trauma that leads to hope for a more tolerant and understanding social environment for the mixed-race child.