On Discovery Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On Discovery.
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Discovery

An important theme of "On Discovery" is discovery. Kingston has said she wrote the story to claim America for herself, for her father, and for her Chinese-American forebears. Tang Ao discovers the Land of Women just as Christopher Columbus discovered America, but significantly earlier. In Tang Ao's discovery, however, no conquest is made. Rather, his discovery is a result of a shift in perspective. At the beginning of the story, he winks at the women who capture him, but by the story's end he has become one of them. Discovery is an important theme in Kingston's work: for Kingston, writing itself is an act of discovery, and certainly she "discovers" new things in her Chinese and American source material that readers might not have seen before.

The American Dream

One of the most important themes in "On Discovery" is the elusiveness of the American Dream for the Chinese...

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This section contains 1,189 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On Discovery Study Guide
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Gale
On Discovery from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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