Humor In Alexander Weinstein's Saying Goodbye To Yang

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Humor is more than just amusing entertainment to pass the time. Though jokes and witty banter can be shallow, humor can go deeper than surface level to convey messages to audiences who would otherwise be close-minded about certain ideas. Humor is a great tool to get audiences to change the way they think, feel, and act. In “Saying Goodbye to Yang,” Alexander Weinstein uses humor to criticize some of society’s faults such as the way it has become heavily reliant on technology, racially insensitive, and judgmental. As technology advances, people are adapting and becoming more reliant upon it. In the story, the narrator and his wife adopted a Chinese child and bought a robot named Yang. Weinstein uses the family’s relationship with Yang to criticize
In today’s society, racial profiling is a widespread problem that negatively impacts most non-white people. Weinstein criticizes this in the story using an invasion of North Korea. When “the nation changed the color of its ribbons from yellow to blue” people changed their view on Asians and “Chinese, Japanese, South Korean didn’t matter anymore; they’d all become threats in the eyes of Americans” (Weinstein 11). Russ had racist propaganda that stated “THERE AIN’T NO YELLOW IN THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE” and the narrator described being treated differently when in public with Mika and Yang (Weinstein 11). They were even individually searched at airports solely because Mika and Yang where Asian, similar to how Muslims are treated differently and are constantly being profiled as
The most obvious critique is on how people heavily rely on technology. In the story, the family depends on a robot to be a teacher and caretaker for their child. When he malfunctions, they realize how dependent they were on him. Weinstein also brings attention to the white American middle and upper class. He includes issues ranging from white supremacy to racial profiling and xenophobia. Lastly, the author critiques society’s tendency to be judgmental without considering all of the circumstances. Because the themes are subtly infused into the story, “Saying Goodbye To Yang” is able to include sensitive topics and without coming off as offensive or as an attack. Weinstein’s use of humor and expert story telling makes the story enjoyable for anyone, while simultaneously raising questions about the faults of

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