- Clearly Chin wants us to pay attention to the names in his book beginning with main character, Donald Duk, which is also the title of the book. Why does Chin choose to use Donald Duk’s full name almost every time he is mentioned? And do you think there is significance to Chin’s choice of the Disney franchise for some of his characters’ names? What is the meaning behind the name Donald Duk and what does it infer about Donald and his own struggles with his identity? And on that note as well, what do you think the meaning is behind Arnold Azalea’s name and why is he so interested in Donald’s family’s traditions and heritage?
- Why does Chin write his book from the perspective of Donald Duk as the main character but not in first person? Do you think there’s a reason why the author interchanges calling Donald’s parents by their real names and Mom and Dad? And to that end, since the book is written knowing Donald’s opinions of his Chinese community, do you think this negatively influences the portrayal of the Chinese American community in San Francisco? Would it be more positive if it was in someone else’s point of view, like Donald’s best friend or one of his sisters?
- Why do you think Chin puts nearly every Chinese (or Cantonese) phrase in italics? Does highlighting these phrases that make them stand out more to the reader as being in a language different from English? And how does this play on the stereotypes explored so far in the book?
Rachel’s Reading questions for September 9 (Chin 1-85)