An analysis of the short story “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu shows that the narrative has a non-chronological structure, which revolves around the conflict between Jack and his Chinese mother and between his two identities.

The main character is Jack, a boy whose father is American and whose mother is Chinese. The story follows him from his childhood to his adult years and explores the conflict between his American and Chinese identities. 

The physical setting is Connecticut, US, where Jack was born. When he is in college, Jack lives in California. Towards the end of the story, the narrative focuses on Jack’s mother’s life in China and Hong Kong.The social setting focuses on issues such as immigration, attitudes towards mixed-race people, and the contrast between the American and Chinese cultures. 

The story is told from the point of view of a first-person narrator, who is also the main character. The narrator is looking back at events from his childhood and early adulthood, as he tries to come to terms with his Chinese identity.

The story’s language mainly focuses on the clash between the Chinese language and English in Jack’s life. When it comes to symbolism, the story mainly focuses on how the origami animals are representations of the Chinese mother’s life and love for her son. 

A full analysis of the short story can be found on the following pages. 

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