A Bridge Between Two Worlds: a Cultural Interpretation of Dragonwings

Ying ZHANG, Xian-hua MENG, Yu-mei MO


Living in the dual worlds of his life as a Chinese American and in places such as Chinatown, Laurence Yep felt that he was culturally alienated and that he did not have a culture of his own. With the driving wish to find out about Chinese culture―his culture, he finished his best known novel Dragonwings after six years of research on Chinese culture.
Based on the true story of Fung Joe Guey, a Chinese American who built and flew an airplane in the Oakland hills in 1909, Dragonwings tells the story of Moon Shadow, who comes to San Francisco to join his unknown father, Windrider, who cherishes the dream of flying. To pursue the dream, Moon Shadow and his father have to move out of Chinatown. After enduring a sea of misunderstanding, cruelty and poverty, Windrider finally realizes his flying dream with the support and aid of his beloved son and his fellowmen, as well as his American friends.
Trying to show the process from misinterpretation and misunderstanding to mutual understanding and the possibilities of cultural exchange and cultural fusion between two different cultures, we will discuss how the Chinese culture is rediscovered by a Chinese American and how cultural misunderstanding leads to an unbalanced world and how tolerance and understanding restore the world into a harmonious one. This paper attempts to demonstrate, through the analysis of Dragonwings, the author’s exploration of Chinese culture, cultural exchange and human nature transcending cultural differences.
Key words: Dragonwings, Laurence Yep, cultural exchange
Abstrait: En vivant dans le monde dual de sa vie comme Américain chinois et aux endroits comme la Cité chinoise, Laurence Yep trouve qu’il était aliéné culturellement et qu’il n’avait pas de culture de sa ville. Avec l’espoir violent à découvrir la culture chinoise----sa culture, il a achevé son roman bien connu Dragon-ailes après une recherche de six années sur la culture chinoise.
Basé sur l’histoire vraie de Fung Joe Guey , un Américain Chinois qui a fabriqué et manié un avion dans les Montagnes Oakland en 1909, Dragon-ailes raconte le conte de Ombre de lune, qui vient à San Francisco pour rejoindre son père inconnu , Windrider, qui a le rêve de voler .Poursuivant le rêve, Ombre Lunaire et son père sont obligés de bouger de la Cité chinoise. Après avoir enduré une mer d’incompréhension , de cruauté et de pauvreté, Windrider a finalement réalizé son rêve de voler avec l’aide de son fils et ses compagnons, ainsi que ses amis américains.
Essayant de montrer le processus de malinterprétation et de incompréhension à compréhension mutuelle et les possibilités d’échange et de fusion culturels entre deux cultures différentes, nous discuterons comment la culture chinoise est redécouverte par un Américian chinois et comment l’incompréhension culturelle conduit à un monde inégal et comment la tolérance et la compréhension reconstruisent le monde à celui d’harmonique. Ce papier tente de démontrer , à travers l’analyse de Dragon-ailes , l’exploration de l’auteur de la culture chinoise , de l’échange culturel et des différences transcendantes naturelles de la nature humaine.
Mots clefs: Dragon-ailes, Laurence Yep, échange culturel

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.css.1923669720050101.010


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