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Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction$
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Ymitri Mathison

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815064

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815064.001.0001

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Identifying the Filipino American Bildungsroman: Whiteness, Ambivalence, and Masculinity in Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son

Identifying the Filipino American Bildungsroman: Whiteness, Ambivalence, and Masculinity in Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son

Chapter:
(p.79) Identifying the Filipino American Bildungsroman: Whiteness, Ambivalence, and Masculinity in Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son
Source:
Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction
Author(s):

Linda Pierce Allen

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496815064.003.0005

This chapter argues that the traditional Western bildungsroman as a form is xenophobic at its foundation, with the adolescent’s requisite assimilation into white normativity as the standard telos for masculine identity development. Identifying the Filipino American bildungsroman as a distinct rejection of the traditional Western bildung, the chapter focuses on the ways in which Brian Ascalon Roley’s novel, American Son, exemplifies the refusal to adhere to European standards of adolescent identity development. Through his use of dual narrators, non-linear character development, simulated masculine identifications, biracial or mestizo identities, and multiple and conflicting national identifications, Roley presents ambivalent and unresolved narrative conclusions to reflect the adolescent’s essential hybridity, refusing Western standards of social integration marked by positive assimilation. By resisting the colonialist model of development, Roley’s work asserts the distinctiveness of the Filipino American bildungs roman as itself a rejection of whiteness.

Keywords:   Filipino American, Mestizo, Bildungsroman, Brian Ascalon Roley, American Son

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