Their Face Says it All
Imagine getting this postcard (left) sent to your door. It's a scary one, but that's what appealed to the American eye during the time of Chinese immigration to the United States in the 1870s. The postcard says that he's a "Yellow Peril Chink" who came into our country to work in the laundry facility. He'll "washee-washee shirtee" since knowing the english language is indifferent to the job of the laundry man. And even when he wishes to try to be a party of the American society, he sits in a school room in "studious humility." In conclusion, his overall existence gives him "Sin" as his name. The discrimination of the Chinese man is eccentric in this postcard.
The face (right) of this postcard is clearly not that of a white man. The exaggerated facial features include the inclined eyebrows, eyes so slanted and squinted that they are barely opened, and the long head that ends in a ponytail is the face of a Chinaman. This was pure amusement for the American eye.
Again, the exaggerated features of the Chinese face is depicted in the American society. This postcard (left) has the eyebrows, eyes, and face structure all extremely exaggerated to mimic that of a Chinese man. Even further, discovering what the weather is like on any given day would require the Chinese man to simply go outside and determine it with his "tail," or hair, for instance. "If tail is dry,- Fair...If tail is wet,- Rain...It tail is swinging,- Wind...If tail is frozen,- Cold " Thanks for the Chinese for being able to determine the weather!
Now, as we see the face of the Chinese Man was pure entertainment to the American public. Postcards, magazines, and trading cards all favored the use of the Chinese stereotype to deliver some sort of message. Publicizing depictions of Chinese grew as the discrimination grew. The physical appearance was not all Americans used to discriminate against them.
This picture (left) may seem horrible to the eyes of an American because it suggests that both the Chinese man and the dog want to eat the rats. They have a "single thought," though they are two completely different creatures. In actuality, the image is suppose to be an advertisement for white flour that is still cheaper than what's being sold at this bargain counter. However, the depiction of a Chinese stereotype is more overly expressed than the actual advertisement.
The image on the right is a tradecard depicting the same stereotype illustrated above. It's horrible stereotype, but in this image the Chinese man in contemplating and staring at the dog with desire to eat it. In the background, we see that if he would have tried to pursue his goal he would have been chased and bitten in the butt by the fierce dog...he therefore runs away as he realize he can't get what he wants.
The comical joke of dog-eating seemed to add to the many different stereotypes the Chinese had. Sending tradecards like this one was entertainment for society, and offending the Chinese immigrants didn't seem to bother the Americans. Instead, they chose to do so to express how the Chinese didn't belong; they were too different to fit into American society and depicting them through discrimination became a norm that helped separate them from the rest of society.