Level Up Summary & Study Guide

Gene Yang
This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Level Up.
This section contains 521 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Level Up Summary & Study Guide Description

Level Up Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Level Up by Gene Yang.

"Level Up" tells the story of Dennis Ouyang who was just a young boy when he discovered the enchantment and allure of video games. Unlike many of his friends and classmates, Dennis was not given a weekly allowance. His Asian parents believed in hard work and instilling a superior work ethic in their children. They worked hard for their money and they didn't believe in wasting it on frivolous things like game playing. Yet his fascination with playing video games only increased. He loved watching the other kids play and when he was at the arcade and no one was around, he would grab the joystick and pretend he was playing.

Although he wanted a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas, his father insisted on giving him a chemistry set. It was more important to begin building a career than spending hours playing mindless games. Dennis' father wanted him to become a doctor. After Dennis graduated from high school, his father died. He was grief-stricken but the first thing he did was drive to the electronics store and purchase a game system. He finally felt free to pursue his own desires.

However, Dennis' mother urged him to major in pre-med courses at the university. But Dennis was so obsessed with game-playing that he was kicked out of school when he was a junior. He was ashamed and didn't tell his mother. After being suspended from school, Dennis spent one hundred percent of his time playing games. It all caught up with him when his mother was hospitalized. She was very hurt to learn that her son had been suspended. That was when the "angels" first visited him.

Four sweet-faced angels came to Dennis and told him that his destiny was to be a gastroenterologist, which came as a shock to him. The angels convinced the dean to let Dennis back in school. They also helped him at home with cooking and cleaning so he could devote all his time to his studies. He was eventually accepted into medical school. He made some very good friends there who all had their own issues but Dennis did not feel comfortable with the course of study. Every time he weakened, however, the angels were there to boost his spirits and to urge him to have "endurance."

Dennis finally understood that the "angels" really represented his father's broken promises to his own father. He had vowed to become a doctor but failed to do so because of the language barrier and due to the arrival of his son. It was Dennis' father's guilt that created the "angels" in an attempt to force Dennis into a medical career. Dennis' father wanted Dennis to have a better career than he did. Dennis was truly liberated when he realized why he had been forced into a career that he wasn't sure he even wanted. Once he did that, he felt liberated and quit medical school. But after a year of game-playing, he found that life empty and not rewarding. Dennis made the decision himself to return to medical school and in doing so, he left his childhood behind him.

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This section contains 521 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Level Up Study Guide
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