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Ethnic Humor and Aesthetics of Waiting in Rob Shin's The Art of Waiting

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2011, 24(3), pp.71-96
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Miseong Woo 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The article analyzes the politics of ethnic humor in which how ethnic jokes usually reflect particular social, economic and cultural context of a society and inter-ethnic and interracial relations of the society. Rob Shin’s The Art of Waiting portrays a Korean-American standup comedian Rob’s “waiting” moment, ten minutes before he goes on stage to deliver a comedy routine. His stream of consciousness, as a form of interior monologue, travels through various stages of his life starting from his experience as a young boy who wanted to be a white to his current part-time job as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant and a stand-up comedian. The stream of consciousness as a predominant dramatic strategy of the play reflects not only the protagonist’s emotional and psychological trauma as an Asian American man, but his own politically incorrect racial prejudice, preconceptions, and psychological state of abjection toward his own racial identity. Through his racial and ethnic humor, the playwright suggests that it is time for us to confess our own prejudice against other races and internalized blame and victim mentality, and emphasizes the art of waiting we all need to learn.

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