F.O.B. (fresh off the boat) is another of David Henry Hwang's explorations of what it is like to be Chinese in America. Dale is second-generation Chinese and very Americanized. He introduces the notion of F.O.B. to the audience in a monologue, mocking new Chinese immigrants for their pitiful attempts at assimilation while refusing to give up their traditional ways. Grace, his cousin, is first-generation, although she has been in America for a while. She is more Chinese in that she maintains many traditional customs, unlike Dale. Their relationship is upset by the arrival of Steve, a wealthy, arrogant new immigrant. Dale and Grace both resent his arrogance but react to it differently. Dale becomes competitive with Steve, while Grace uses traditional Chinese culture to win him over. In the end, Steve and Grace leave together, and Dale is alone, still resenting the F.O.B.s. In the middle section of the play, Hwang has the characters play out their roles through Chinese myth.
F.O.B. guide sections