American Born Chinese

Being different is never easy. It isn’t fun to stand out of in a crowd and have people treat you a certain way because of your appearance, background, the way you speak or dress, how old you are, or basically anything that set you apart. In American Born Chinese, the main character, Jin, struggles to accept his chinese heritage. He constantly tries to become Americanized and at one point he even transforms into another person because he is so untrue to who he really is. Similarly, the Monkey King tries to conform and conceal his monkey heritage by wearing shoes. The picture of a funny face symbolizes the message in the book because it is a reminder to “embrace one’s weirdness”. That is not to say in anyway that Jin or the Monkey King are weird in a negative sense, it simply means that they had to learn to embrace their differences because it is only once this is done that a person (or monkey) can be his or her best self.

Photo Citation: CC BY 2.0

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Looking For Alaska

Aside from the unintended snow reference, the perfect picture to synthesize the message of John Green’s Looking for Alaska is a shot of a beautiful snowy street. While there are many different moral lessons, meanings, and messages in the novel one that really stood out is the idea that something can seem simply beautiful while really existing as a much more complex conundrum. The character Alaska is so alluring to Miles because her beauty and lively personality excites him. He almost falls in love with the idea of Alaska much in the same way people romanticize snowy days (“Winter Wonderland” for instance). While a snowy day may seem perfectly beautiful from a distance or from inside one’s warm home, in reality snow does a lot of damage, ruins plans, alters schedules, causes accidents, creates panic, and it is not even sustainable for humans to exist in for a long period of time. In the same way, Alaska may look stunning, and her troubled past may seem like somewhat of a beautiful darkness but in reality it is actually much more complex and leads to her downfall.

Port Chicago 50

The Civil Rights Movement was a long and slow process which was confronted with challenges from several different angles. After reading Port Chicago 50 I thought about how the incident at Port Chicago and the trial that followed sparked interest in civil rights, especially as it related to the treatment of African Americans in the military. I chose to symbolize the events of Port Chicago 50 with the picture of a small sapling breaking through concrete because it represents a how a force that is strong, like nature, can push through opposition and hardship. I felt that the Civil Rights Movement was a slow moving process that required a great deal of patience from African Americans who wanted their equality. In Port Chicago 50 the men accused of mutiny had to be patient throughout the court case, during their unfair prison time, and after the case as the Civil Rights Movement continued. I think that the symbol of a new born tree is a strong metaphor for the Civil Rights Movement because thought it may seem weak, the fact that it can grow and thrive in the most unlikely places shows that it is strong and will not go down without a fight.

Photo Attributed to : Ray_from_LA on flickr.com

Picture Citation: CC BY-SA