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Pangs of Love

             According Louie's short story Pangs of Love, Asian American figures living in the American mainstream society have not overcome their stereotypes that portrait them as effeminate and castrated. Even though they have lived in America for almost their lives like the rest of the white people, the men in this story have not equated with the other races, especially the white society. The narrator in the story names Pang is a man of thirty-five years old who "for the past nine months [has] lived with [his] mother in a federally subsidized high rise in the lower reached of Chinatown (Louie 57)" fits this image. He tends to pull himself toward dating white women only. His masculinity is redefined by those white women. His brother, Bagel, is another male in the story whose masculinity has been stripped down too. In comparison to Louie's other Pangs of Love short story Birthday, it also portrait the same stereotypes that Asian American man faces. According to Sarkar, Wallace Wong in "Birthday" reveals to the public that he also fits the image of emasculated Asian male. These images have continued to haunt us according Sarkar who says that throughout history, the image of railroad worker and valorization show that the idea of emasculated has existed for years. The idea of the weak, effeminate Asian male still persists in today's society. Through this short story, we can see the similarity of Louie's other short story Birthday, which both show how Asian American man's masculinity and identity are shaped by the white society. Because of their emasculation, they've failed to assimilate in the American mainstream.
             Like Wallace in Louie's other short story "Birthday," Mr. Pang's masculine characters is defined by the dominant white figure in the American society. By looking at a brief history of how Asian males are portrait by the white society, the image of Asian males can be better understood through these two short stories.

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