Bryan Hsu

Ms. Lee

Writing 39B Online

10 July 2015

Critical Reading Response Paper

Young adult genre is a composition that follows a varieties of easily understandable plots that makes its story exciting and appealing to young readers. It revolves around reader’s cultural surroundings which pulls them deeply into the plots and allows them to experience what the protagonist is going through. Because young readers have premature mind, young adult genre writers also utilizes different situations and how the protagonist encounters and resolves the conflict, thus helping young readers learn and gain experience as they uncover the text. Author Cory Doctorow recognizes these qualities and impact a character can have on its audience; he masterfully creates the young teen characters Matthew Fong, Mala, and Leonard Goldberg, in his novel For the Win. The character’s encounter in MMORPG and virtual world drew reader’s attention with how a virtual world act as a significant part of the economy and how authorities may utilize labor to turn non-existent gold into real money. In his novel For the Win, he utilizes the different struggles of the characters and how they overcame the problems to emphasize the theme of how independency help individuals gain personal growth.

MMORPG acts as a cultural relation that makes its text appealing to young adults because virtual world and media has become an essential activity that everyone uses on a daily basis. The characters in the novel are all participants of MMORPG and young adults are more likely to read text that is fun and somewhat identifies who they are that correlates to their culture. According to the article “Nature’s Daredevils,” Doctorow states that “Kids are naturals for this, since they really use books as markers of their social identity.” YA genre writers targets their audience by incorporating common and popular cultural activities like MMORPG for this very reason. Young teens have not fully developed both physically and mentally. They look forwards to the plot that is similar to what they have experienced or something they want to experience themselves. Doctorow recognizes this fact, and he unfolds the journey in his novel to keep the plot exciting and changing in order to draw reader’s attention.

Matthew Fong, a talented MMORPG player, learns that gold-farming has its consequence while struggling against didactic authority that threatened his life with force. Gold farming is a technique used in the virtual world to turn virtual gold into real gold. The process is done by selling game wealth to Western players with a profitable trade-off. Matthew Fong, also called the Master Fong, is able to map down the dungeon and access the most efficient way of earning the virtual gold with just one glance during the game. However, his boss Wing only pays him by wages and keeps most of his employee’s virtual gold profit. He eventually quits this job and began to work with his friends in his own business. With his talented skill, he found a place in the dungeon where he could make up a month of living in just one night. However, he faces the consequence of him working on his own business. Boss Wing sent his men to raid his house and had him beaten down onto the floor. He had the choice of returning to his work or have his home raided every time. Even though he was threatened and feared, he never stopped thinking. “All you have to do is pay him a franchise fee of 60 percent” (Doctorow 79). Accepting this deal demonstrates that he had dropped his pride to work under someone. He is mature enough to understand the situation and accept the reality. Under the struggles against the authorities, he grew mentally in order to secure his life and career as a gold farmer. Knowing how young adult act prematurely, Doctorow wants to convince his audience to see this personal growth and learn from the book as they naturally do.

Doctorow then incorporates a different situation using Mala’s independent action under pressured circumstance to show how it led to success. Mala came from a very poor family in india, which they have moved to Mumbai and wished to find a better living. However, they ended up working in the plastic recycling factory until she had found her talent in gaming. An opportunity came when a stranger, “Competitor,”offered her money to beat other players. She had never defied her mother, but she decides to when she realizes that she has to express herself. “Mamaji, it wouldn’t be right or fair” (Doctorow 36). Even though she did not convince her with just these words, it affected other people to aside with her due to her courageous action. Because she overcame her fear of getting beaten by her mother for defying her, it also gave her confidence that helped her succeed. This gave her a path to be independent while standing up for herself. She has earned enough money for them to move to a better house, buy new clothes, and supplies. However, further struggles through Doctorow’s plot strengthened her will as a independent figure. As she described herself, “She was General Robotwallah and she could make it all good” (Doctorow 91). She decides to keep what she has done a secret from her mother to not make her worry. Even though she was suppressed by the working conditions of a gold-farming labor, she decides to act independently upon herself. She understands that she has done wrong when she could clearly ran away to avoid the conflict, and she decides to be responsible for her action.

Young adults are still learning and absorbing knowledge as they read because their mind has not maturely developed. YA genre consists of exciting plots that revolves around their audience’s cultural surrounds. Knowing that young adult uses book as bookmarks of their identity, YA genre writers incorporate themes and experiences through a character’s struggle and how they overcome their problems in order to teach the audience; at the same time, keeping the storyline interesting and enjoyable.

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