Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157
Crazy Rich Asians is filled with tradition. This theme can be seen in the way that the different families interact within themselves and with one another. Rachel's mother tries to impart on her daughter the importance of tradition as she travels to Singapore to meet Nick's family. Meanwhile, Rachel and her mother have a very nontraditional mother/daughter relationship for Chinese families. The juxtaposition of American and Chinese traditions comes to a head throughout the novel.
Another theme prevalent in the book is respect. Nick's family demands respect from Nick and his cousins, and they define this respect as doing whatever they are told. They often fail to give their children any respect as adults who want to make their own choices. The family doesn't respect Michael; they treat him like an employee, not a relative. The line between "good guys" and "bad guys" is often drawn by whether or not a person gives respect to others.
Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 123
One prominent theme in Crazy Rich Asians is the family as an extended network in which pride and prestige are the ultimate determinants of a given lineage's social capital. Every one of the characters is acutely aware of his or her place in an array of hierarchies. Despite their already exorbitant levels of wealth and success, they are entangled in constant competition.
Another core theme, but one that contrasts with the novel's obsession with legacy, is the individual's innate desire to break away from cultural norms and expectations. As people of Asian descent who come to internalize both Asian and American values, the characters arrive at their own unique conceptions of identity by accepting neither of these dual traditions as necessary or "best."
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