Near the end of China Men, the narrator asserts that her brother was named “Han Bridge like a bridge between Han and here.” She claims “[b]ridge is the name of my brother’s generation” (264). The bridge is a useful metaphor for a course that seeks to examine American literature through a consideration of borders. A bridge is a consciously planned and man- made attempt to transcend or bring together two seemingly insurmountable distances. While borders by definition create divisions, bridges unify.
This essay question asks you to write a 5-7 page paper that explores one or two of most important bridge building strategies in Kingston’s China Men. How do the characters attempt to bridge the divide between American culture and their Chinese heritage? Identify these strategies and then show how the various characters manifest these strategies in their lives. Explain whether or not these attempts succeed or fail (qualifying what you mean by these terms).