Girl in Translation

Mr. Al Character Analysis

Mr. Al is a black man who lives on the same street as Kim and Ma. He operates a shop and an apartment building, and he's very interested in Chinese culture. Kim teaches him some Chinese words, and Mr. Al repays her kindness by advocating for them at the local grocery store. He moves away to escape the supposed leveling of their street.
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Mr. Al Character Timeline in Girl in Translation

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Al appears in Girl in Translation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
One
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...Ma and Kim. The man laughs, explains he loves kung fu, and introduces himself as Mr. Al . When he realizes that Ma and Kim are Chinese, he asks what he can... (full context)
Three
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...looks out the back of her building. She can see into the neighboring apartment in Mr. Al 's building. Inside, Kim can make out a sleeping black woman cradling a baby. The... (full context)
Four
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...as he says that he was standing up for Park. Later, Kim and Ma give Mr. Al an elephant from Chinatown to bring him good luck. (full context)
Poverty and Shame Theme Icon
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
The next Sunday, Ma and Kim notice lights on at Mr. Al 's shop, an unusual occurrence. They decide not to bother him, but he notices them... (full context)
Five
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
When Ma and Kim get to their apartment, Kim translates what Mr. Al said about the block being condemned. Ma insists it means that Aunt Paula will soon... (full context)
Family, Choices, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Independence and Coming of Age Theme Icon
In March, Kim and Ma say goodbye to Mr. Al . He gives them folding chairs and a mattress as parting gifts, and Ma gives... (full context)