The Fourth Scroll in American Born Chinese explained

The Fourth Scroll of Power is what brings Sun Wei-Chen to Earth as he has a dream telling him that he will meet a guide to the mythical object in this realm.

After taking his father’s staff, Wei-Chen tells Sun Wukong about the dream he had where a crane appeared to him and told him that he would meet a guide that would lead him to the fourth scroll and that he would need to staff to access it.

Wukong says that he retrieved the first three scrolls himself so he is certain the fourth scroll is just a myth. The Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin, intervenes and tells Wukong that she will help Wei-Chen in his journey to follow his dreams and try to keep him safe.

After losing the staff, Wukong takes Wei-Chen back to heaven but after having a change of heart, sends him back to Earth and tells him to meet Ji Gong, the Mad Monk, who can help him find the scroll.

A painted prophecy

When Jin and Wei-Chen go to meet Ji Gong, they find a drunken busboy at a restaurant and Jin leaves for his biology project. Wei-Chen finds Ji Gong’s place in the basement and they have a short fight that convinces Ji Gong that Wei-Chen is from heaven.

He shows Wei-Chen his paintings that depict the prophecy of the fourth scroll of power and how it was scattered around the earth by Buddha and it lies within an object signifying the union of two warring factions.

Wei-Chen remembers that he saw two jade pieces that Christine showed him and mentioned that they belonged to her and her husband’s families who were in conflict for many years.

The Fourth Scroll in American Born Chinese explained 1
Wei-Chen is convinced that Christine’s necklace holds the fourth scroll

Wei-Chen believes that the necklace is the fourth scroll but when Guanyin takes it to Shiji Niangniang to confirm whether it is legitimate. After her dog swallows the pendant, Guanyin says that it is likely the scroll doesn’t exist.

Dream come true

Wei-Chen faces the Bull Demon to save his father but reveals that he doesn’t have the scroll and loses the belief that it actually exists. However, In Jin’s dream, Guanyin tells him about power from within and how things are connected in more ways than he can think.

When Jin sees the gate opening between heaven and earth and the staff about to release its power, he decides to jump in between and stop it from destroying both worlds.

He does it successfully and survives and when Sun Wukong returns, he tells Wei-Chen that ultimately he did find the fourth scroll, suggesting that Jin is the scroll signifying the union of the two warring factions.

Also Read: American Born Chinese summary and ending explained

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