Ya.. TUMBLr is exploding calling “Eleanor and Park” racist. -_- Like okay there are some stereotypes? What work of fiction doesn’t? And “it’s glorifying the problems Koreans have living in America” if you are Korean and living in America, I know you have had a hard time.. Almost every race has had…
im going to do my best here and if im wrong someone please please correct me
what i really dont understand is how you can see all the things rowell is doing wrong in her book and still try to justify it. you’re right, other books have stereotypes. but what this book DIDN’T do is confront them. a lot of people are comparing this book to To Kill a Mockingbird. oh my god please dont. there are so many things wrong with that. rowell just fetishes koreans. thats it. you say so yourself the book is riddled with racism, but i dont see park or his family struggling with as much bullying that eleanor goes through. how is that possible? id feel better if park struggled with racism and bullying through his life and overcame it, possibly together with eleanor or something. and if rowell showed the struggles his mother would have faced too, not just horrible depictions of how she couldnt speak english well.
so you say this book is in the teenager’s POV. yes you’re right. who wrote those POVs? rowell. dont think these characters stand alone because rowell wrote them. they didn’t write themselves. yes, she could have had them say racist things because “theyre teenagers and they dont know better.” but rowell isn’t a teenager. she knows better. if she included so much racism i fail to see where she justified it.
"so of coruse eleanor is going to like that fact that pak is korean" wait wait, did you say park being korean is the reason why eleanor likes park? because that just highlights the huge problem with this book. if this book didn’t fetishize koreans, then i would be able to switch park to any other ethnicity and go through the book just fine. but no, it doesn’t work because he isn’t strictly korean. why? why does he have to be korean? whats the point other than fetishizing koreans? if he was indian, hispanic, of even white, would eleanor have fallen in love with him?
park’s parents are “so in love”. i dont even know where to begin. actually, i really dont because i dont know enough about the war prostitution that went on, so it would be better for someone more informed to educate you on that. basically though: there are lot of problems with that sentence.
"GUYS IF ROWELL HAD MADE PARK TALL AND FAT PEOPLE WOULD COMPLAIN ABOUT HIM NOT SEEMING KOREAN ENOUGH!" not korean enough. because that wouldnt fit everyone’s sweet romantic dreams of marrying one of those perfect kpop looking idols they see. im going to shatter your world right now. THERE ARE FAT AND TALL KOREANS. gasp. im so sorry. sit down, take a minute to wrap that around your head.
done? because i’m not. what the hell does “korean enough” even mean? even if i do humor you and tell you that yes, korean culture revolves highly around physical beauty nowadays, the book setting was in 1980. AND IN AMERICA. so it really shouldnt have mattered if park was fat or not because it wouldnt be the same? in america? in 1980? do you understand? there wouldn’t have been a korean culture pressuring him to conform to their standards of beauty you see in kpop. and honestly, if his mother was a true korean (by that i mean, written true like a korean), she probably would have gladly made him fat. because my parents do. its like they pressure me to eat and get fat, because the korean war was so fucking devastating, poverty was common, and my parents struggled to get food sometimes. (im korean btw) so here they lavished food on the table because it was such a blessing for them that my siblings and i had the constant promise of food on the table everyday, something they didn’t have. park’s mother, judging from the probability that she was a prostitute (again i dont know enough) was most likely forced into such a path because she needed to survive. basically, i mean to say she wouldn’t have a problem with park being fat, because it would be a sign that he didnt have to struggle like she did, so he has nothing stopping him, unless his douchebag white father had something to say about it.
"So duh, yeah park is going to think he is unattractive… Wouldn’t you stuck in a neighbourhood where everyone is white, big and tall? And you just happened to get bad genes?" there are a lot of things wrong with this. bad genes? bad genes? wow, thats borderline nazi. there are no such things as bad fucking genes. and if park believes that, his parents did a shit of a job teaching him to be proud of who he is. which doesnt really make sense. was his mom too ashamed to be korean that she didnt fix his self-esteem because she agreed? was his dad only in love with his fetish for korean woman, that he stopped caring for his korean-looking son, and instead favoring his whiter looking son? (did park REALLY have to suck at driving, btw?) when i was a kid, i was bullied for my "chinky" eyes, but when i came home crying, my parents made me feel beautiful and proud of my eyes and how they looked beautiful still even when they got smaller as i smiled. so yeah, initially i felt insecure in a predominantly white neighborhood, but my parents did the right thing and set it right. i never believed in such a thing as bad genes. how could anyone ever? seriously? rainbow rowell get your shit together for even saying such a fucking thing. fix your fucking characters. ALSO, ive never heard of a half-korean that looks mostly korean and has green eyes? someone enlighten me on this, but from experience and what i think genetically, i seriously think the probability of that happening is near 0.
“Okay yeah, Rowell might not have done as much research as she could have… But that doesn’t make the book racist or demeaning Koreans in America, or against white and POC relationships.” OH LORDY. yeah. i think i went over this. i think we ALL went over this. a million times. go back and read the book. really, REALLY read the book.
“Understandably the Koreans in America must feel affronted, or feel as if Rowell is making fun at them. I don’t think she is.” wait, how does that work? you understand that we are insulted? but you don’t think so? so you understand that rowell diminishes our value as people, and understand how we may feel insulted, but you dont think she is? huh? what?
“And I don’t think I saw anyone complaining about how Rowell described the black kids? No one even commented on if that was racist?!” uh, yes we do. a lot actually. do you have any idea how stereotypical her black friends are? its like rowell just watches any hollywood movie with a black minor character and bases eleanor’s friends on that. they way they talk, the way they act. and they’re such minor characters, i don’t even know why rowell was compelled to include them at all? just because she wanted her book to be multiracial? well she really failed at that. really failed. why do you think we are so mad. i dont feel like i can do justice to this issue, so anyone who can, PLEASE do, by all means. it seems to me though that you acknowledge how its racist the way they’re portrayed? then why are you still defending this book? WHY?
“I’m not trying to tell all the people offended that you have no reason to be… I just have my own opinion” thats nice, but i dont really understand your opinion. its like you acknowledge everything wrong with this book but fail to see it even though its staring you right in the eyes. which is worse, in my opinion. a lot of people enjoy this book because they cant see it, but you. you see it and look away purposefully. why?