Quotes

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on April 12, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 258

Homebase is American author Shawn Hsu Wong's 1979 coming-of-age novel about Rainsford Chan, an adolescent Asian American grasping at discovering his own identity.

The book opens with a short expository section that establishes the time and location of its setting before introducing protagonist Rainsford’s dream for his future:

I will...

(The entire section contains 258 words.)

See This Study Guide Now

Start your subscription to unlock this study guide. You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Start your Subscription

Homebase is American author Shawn Hsu Wong's 1979 coming-of-age novel about Rainsford Chan, an adolescent Asian American grasping at discovering his own identity.

The book opens with a short expository section that establishes the time and location of its setting before introducing protagonist Rainsford’s dream for his future:

I will eventually travel to all the places I’ve dreamed about. I will meet my friends and know them as if I’d known them all my life.

This quote also establishes the book’s subsequent emphasis on Rainsford’s imaginary interaction with his ancestors, which is told as though in a sequence of dreams. In one of these recollections, Rainsford takes the role of a railroad worker, recounting that

Winter is a season crueler than the men we worked for. All our energies are directed against the winter and to staying alive to greet the first thaw and perhaps the end of the railroad line.

In his imaginary interactions with his forbearers, Rainsford Chan begins to understand the connection he has with each of them despite having never met them.

And I knew then that I was only my father’s son, that he was Grandfather’s son and Grandfather was Great-Grandfather’s son and that night we were all the same man.

At the end of the story, Rainsford reconciles his status as an Asian American by taking possession of the American landscape in which he has grown up:

I take myths to name this country’s canyons, dry riverbeds, mountains, after my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Homebase Study Guide

Subscribe Now
Previous

Analysis

Next

Critical Essays