Donald Duk Quotes
by Frank Chin

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Frank Chin's novel Donald Duk tells of a Chinese-American boy who fights his Chinese heritage, wanting only to embrace his American side. The quotes which are important to the novel lie in his desire to assimilate completely into his "American-ness." In the end, he realizes that he does not need to abandon one identity in order to embrace the other.

Donald Duk does not like his name.

This quote is the second sentence of the novel. This quote's importance lies in the reader's recognition that the main character does not like who he is. Many readers will readily recognize the allusion to Disney's beloved, and American, character. Yet, the spelling of the last name is distinctly Chinese. This immediately illustrates the bringing together of two distinct identities: American and Chinese. That said, the quote also openly states that the character does not like his name. He may not even like who he is (as a Chinese-American). The placement of the American first name and Chinese last name could enlighten readers as to the character's preference for identification. He may desire to be identified as an American first and foremost.

I don't care if you are scared. Be as scared as you want to be, but don't look scared.

This quote is spoken by Donald's father, King Duk. After seeing Donald slouching, pouty, and wringing his hands, his father's advice is truly universal. Although he recognizes fear as being an honest emotion, he does not want Donald to come across to others as fearful. This piece of advice is universal in nature. Many reading the novel will find this to be something they can relate to (which is necessary for engagement and learning). Donald has been exiled from those he does not wish to be associated with (other Chinese) and bullied by those he wants to be like (Americans). He is at a point where he feels...

(The entire section is 481 words.)