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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Comparative Analysis Between Two Trickster Tales (Essay Sample)


Essay: A Comparative Literary Analysis
Compose an essay in which you compare some literary element of Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book to a literary element found in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Possible literary elements include character, setting, metaphor, metonymy, allusion, style, tone—look through the Bedford Introduction to Literature if you’d like more examples. For this essay assignment, you will need to make an argument about how one literary element found in Tripmaster Monkey relates to another (or the same) literary element found in The Lone Ranger and discuss how that comparison speaks to how these two books themselves relate. Your opening paragraph should offer a brief introduction to both texts, as well as a claim that clearly articulates how the literary elements relate.
Your body paragraphs will focus on particular quotes from the texts that support your claim and analyze how they function within the text. Your conclusion should restate your thesis and offer a broader context about how the literary elements you’ve focused on speak to the way both books themselves relate. The paper should be 5-6 pages in length with double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font and 1 inch margins. Any forms of plagiarism will be failed from the course and suspended from the college. Use MLA format for all quotations.


Two of literature’s complex pieces come together under scrutiny in this comparative literary analysis -- The Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight. In 1989, Maxine Hong Kingston published her third installment from her original fictions, The Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book. Set in the 1960s, the tale follows Chinese-American Wittman Ah Sing in his San Francisco escapades -- from his relationships to his cultural conflicts finding it difficult to accept his Chinese ancestry. Later on and almost throughout his adventures, he fixates on how he is so similar to that of Journey to the West’s Sun Wukong, a Monkey King. However, in the end, he comes into terms with his conflicts and accepts his culture and ancestry. On the other hand, Sherman Alexie published The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven in 1993. Frequently identified as a short-story collection, this book contains twenty-two interconnecting tales, which have recurring characters. Two young male Native Americans, Victor and Thomas, occupy the protagonist roles, whose tales depict their history with their family and the people who live in the Spokane Indian Reservation, their desires, and their relationships. Noticing how both books comprise of cultural flair, there are certainly more similarities between the two yet are different from each other. In this essay, how these two tales relate to one another will be determined.
Among the focal points of their similarities, Tripsmaster Monkey: His Fake Book and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven centers around the trickster figure. He is often the main character of tales described by multiculturalism and postmodernism. In other words, a cultural paladin of indigenous myths. Exaggeration finds its way as a feature distinctive of such specified fiction. Although exaggerated, reality floats somewhere in the mainstream (Jacobs, 2006). Wittman Ah Sing rather unequivocally refers to a traditional trickster character, the Monkey King. Because he is of Asian physique, he experiences the stereotypical racial discrimination; however, this is self-inflicted as he does not accept that norms of his own ancestry. He appoints himself on the margins of social-cultural standing, setting his own platform for misdemeanor, which pinpoints the defects of both his ethnic community and the American society. The Monkey King inserts a scenario each time he could as a result of Wittman Ah Sing’s disruptive orchestrations. For instance, the scene where he reads to a Chinese-American woman a poetry he created in an attempt of seduction, the said woman tells him how it sounds “black”. He starts to imitate the Monkey King, angrily jumping around and dauntingly yelling at her. Another appearance of the Monkey imitation is depicts when he hears a racist trifle in a restaurant:
“You like jokes? I tell you joke. What’s ten inches long and white? Nothing, ha ha. Every gringo doesn’t have one. Why you not laughing? I funny, you not funny. You nauseating. You ruin my dinner. You slur all over my food with dirty not-funny joke.” (Kingston 214)
He ends up ranting to the jokers as he assumes the joker changed his punchline from “Chinese to Mexican” upon spotting Wittman. Having claimed the Monkey King role, Wittman sheds light on the military industrial complex’s oppressive nature and inconsistencies. In an attempt to form a society where people suffer the same plights as his (from army draft to unemployment to sexual stereotypes to capitalism), he writes and stages a magnificent Chinese play; and, only when he does is that he finally gains peace with his heritage. However, it ...

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