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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Typical American
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Prof Pat Swenson

Sierra Tower 812

Phone: 818.677.3410

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links



Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website


Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website



Typical American by Gish Jen - Discussion Guide

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Characters

Ralph Chang, Helen Chang, Theresa Chang, Callie Chang, Mona Chang

Grover Ding, Old Chao, Janis Chao, Chuck, Pete, the Super

Cammy, Mr. Fitt, Professor Pinkus, Prof. Rodney S. Pierce, Little Lou

Conflict

Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.

Theme/Symbols/Motifs

The Immigrant Experience, Cultural Assimilation, Language Issues

Discrimination/Racism

The Greatness of America -- The American Dream, "Typical American," Suburbia: Land of Greater Promises

What is Happiness, Fulfillment?

Marriage, Infidelity, Betrayal, Forgiveness, Acceptance

Sense of Duty

Identity

Restlessness

Ambition, Greed, Desire, Materialism