Minor Feelings

by

Cathy Park Hong

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Cathy Park Hong’s Father Character Analysis

Cathy Park Hong’s father grew up relatively poor in a village near Seoul, and as a child, he watched a U.S. soldier nearly murder his own father (Hong’s paternal grandfather) in cold blood during the Korean War. After the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act enabled skilled Asian immigrants to get visas, Hong’s father pretended to be a mechanic and migrated to the U.S. with Hong’s mother. However, he spent most of his career working as a life insurance salesman in Los Angeles. Eventually he managed to buy an industrial warehouse, which funded Hong’s education. Yet Hong warns her readers against interpreting her father’s story as a classic “model immigrant” story: he was also a belligerent heavy drinker, and he was always distinctly aware of (and highly frustrated with) the racism he faced from white Americans.

Cathy Park Hong’s Father Quotes in Minor Feelings

The Minor Feelings quotes below are all either spoken by Cathy Park Hong’s Father or refer to Cathy Park Hong’s Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
).
United Quotes

When the 1965 immigration ban was lifted by the United States, my father saw an opportunity. Back then, only select professionals from Asia were granted visas to the United States: doctors, engineers, and mechanics. This screening process, by the way, is how the whole model minority quackery began: the U.S. government only allowed the most educated and highly trained Asians in and then took all the credit for their success. See! Anyone can live the American Dream! they’d say about a doctor who came into the country already a doctor.

Related Characters: Cathy Park Hong (speaker), Cathy Park Hong’s Father
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
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Minor Feelings PDF

Cathy Park Hong’s Father Character Timeline in Minor Feelings

The timeline below shows where the character Cathy Park Hong’s Father appears in Minor Feelings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
United
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
History, Ignorance, and Racism Theme Icon
In Korea, Hong’s father grew up poor but succeeded in school. In 1965, the U.S. began allowing a few... (full context)
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
Hong’s father may sound like the kind of “model immigrant” who wouldn’t care about race, but actually,... (full context)
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
...not herbal medicine. When her college roommate’s father introduced himself as a Korean War veteran, her father refused to respond—and she scolded him in the car afterwards. He angrily asked if he... (full context)
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
History, Ignorance, and Racism Theme Icon
...dragging Vietnamese doctor David Dao off an overbooked plane to open up more space. Like Hong’s father , Dao dresses conservatively “to project a benign and anonymous professionalism.” While the media avoids... (full context)
Stand Up
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
...have strong family values, Hong saw her neighbors’ families and professional lives constantly falling apart. Her father ’s best friend (and her dentist) drank himself to death; another was murdered by his... (full context)
The End of White Innocence
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
History, Ignorance, and Racism Theme Icon
...group of white kids mocked her accent, and one girl kicked her to the ground. Hong’s father yelled at the girl, but Hong was terrified that the neighbors would retaliate. Five years... (full context)
Bad English
Art, Voice, and Audience Theme Icon
Friendship and Solidarity Theme Icon
...it, besides curse words, and they put their own spin on American customs. For instance, Hong’s father has a habit of telling everyone “I love you.” She held off on using her... (full context)
An Education
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
Art, Voice, and Audience Theme Icon
...hard to satisfy their parents—either to pay off debts or fulfill unrealistic expectations. But fortunately, Hong’s father ran a successful business and supported her interest in poetry. In contrast, her mother was... (full context)
Portrait of an Artist
Art, Voice, and Audience Theme Icon
Friendship and Solidarity Theme Icon
...it as an “answer key” for interpreting Dictee, and emphasizing her personal connections to Cha. Hong’s father grew up in Busan as a refugee at the same time as Cha; her uncle... (full context)
The Indebted
Asian American Politics Theme Icon
History, Ignorance, and Racism Theme Icon
...English, and the soldiers let him go and gave candy to his young son ( Hong’s father ). The U.S. military has long handed out candy as a consolation for its brutal... (full context)