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Well everyone, I'm starting a new sporking. As I mentioned in my previous post, Halo will be on a hiatus so I can focus on this spork. More information is under the cut.

Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell 


Alright everyone, if you haven't heard of this book, the basic plot is about two teenage misfits in Omaha in 1986 who fall in love with each other after connecting through comic books and 80's music. And who are the lovers? Eleanor Douglas, a full-figured sixteen-year-old girl, and Park Sheridan, a half-Korean sixteen-year-old boy.

The basic premise doesn't sound too bad. In fact, it's nice to be able to read an interracial romance between a white woman and a man of colour, since those are pretty rare compared to white man-woman of colour romances (especially white man-Asian woman romances, there's hardly a white woman-Asian man romance out there). But there is so much wrong in this book that you won't believe it. There's orientalism, extremely casual racism, Asian fetishization, ableism, and a whole lot more. And while I am South Asian, I feel like this should be sporked to Hell and back, especially because of the praise it's gotten. Goes to show how the fetishization of Asian people is that commonly accepted in media.

So! I'm also going to be using counts for the first time, so here are the counts that will be present!

MADAME BUTTERFLY MUCH?: Named after the world-famous opera by Giacomo Puccini about a Japanese woman falling in love with an American lieutenant, this opera is the bane for all Asian women, as it started the stereotype of the submissive and gentle Asian woman who dies for the white man at the end. This count is especially in regards to Park's Korean mother, who is pretty much a Madame Butterfly-esque character. Basically, this is for everytime an Asian woman is shown to be submissive and meek.

HERE COMES MISS SAIGON: Now this comes from the Broadway musical Miss Saigon, which was adapted from Madame Butterfly, with the setting changed to 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War. And yes, it's about a Vietnamese bargirl falling in love with an American GI. And just like in Madame Butterfly, the bargirl dies at the end after being abandoned by the white man. This is for the story of the relationship between Park's parents. Park's mother is Korean, but his father is a white soldier who brought her to America during the Korean War. So it's got a whole Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow kind of feel to it.

ORIENTALIST BASTARD: This is because Eleanor herself is simply orientalist and racist. She makes some pretty offensive jokes with the word 'oriental' and brushes off Asian characters who try to call her out. This also goes for the ways in which she describes Park and his mother. The ways in which she describes them are kinda creepy, to be honest.

FETISHIZING BASTARD: Kinda obvious, isn't it? This is for any time an Asian character is fetishized as exotic and submissive, whether they're man or woman.

DRAMATIC ANGST: Because Eleanor and Park are misfits, they both face some sort of angst. Eleanor comes from an abusive family while Park hates his Korean side because he looks too feminine. This is for times whenever either of these issues show up.

I'M DOWN WITH DA HOOD, YO: Eleanor has two Black best friends who speak in very stereotypical AAVE (African-American Vernacular English), and the stereotypes are like what you'd probably see in a really bad sitcom from the 90's or 2000's. This is for everytime these Black girls act like the stereotypical Sassy Black Woman.

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!: This is for the various slurs throughout the book. There's both racist and ableist slurs, so the counts will go up everytime these sort of words appear in the text.

And these are the counts I have so far. However, I'm not going to be alone with the sporking, as I'm going to have a team of five people helping me out. So I hope to see you in the first chapter~!

Continue to: Prologue

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