In "The House of Sixty Fathers," what does Tien Pao learn about  American life from the airmen?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tien Pao learns a number of things about American life from the airmen, some of them rudimentary and others more essential.  He learns that they have access to a much more advanced technology than the world he is used to, and is mystified by a camera, amazed by the experience of riding in a truck, and at the ability to see everything and cover vast distances quickly by plane.  He glories in the sweetness of chocolate and the intricacy of a piece of gum in its wrapper, and discovers that it is not acceptable to run out of doors naked.  Tien Pao, who has never seen anyone who is not of Asian descent, also is fascinated to discover that Americans have white skin and hair and eyes of many different colors.

The most important things Tien Pao learns about American life, and Americans in a general way, are the result of the airmen's kindness and generosity toward him.  They care for him, feed him, and, realizing that he has lost his family, are ready to adopt him as their own - when he is among them he feels safe.  They are also sensitive to his feelings, explaining things to him when he doesn't understand, and they do everything in their power to help him find his parents and sister, even taking him up in one of their planes to search for them.

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The House of Sixty Fathers

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