An Analysis Of Min-Zhan Lu's From Silence To Words

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Dave Berry once said, “There 's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you 've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent..” By the outside, someone may look like they fit in, while the adversities one deals with internally are hidden on the inside. The struggles one goes through needs to really be brought up to attention and the attempt to understand what one goes through day to day must happen. In From Silence to Words Writing as a Struggle, Min-Zhan Lu explains the struggles experienced growing up in China and the influences of…show more content…
Her greatest fear in this struggles was the ability to lose control over the influences school versus home played in writing. She would always go back and second guess herself in making sure that her views were not conflicting with the other so much that it stood out, which would confuse her. She grew up learning that these conflicts of interest in political views should not happen. Min-Zhan Lu says “Despite my parents ' and teachers ' attempts to keep home and school discrete, the internal conflict between the two discourses continued whenever I read or wrote. Although I tried to suppress the voice of one discourse in the name of the other, having to speak aloud in the voice I had just silenced each time I crossed the boundary kept both voices active in my mind. (446) This quote really stands out to me in the passage. Lu talks about no matter at what attempts his parents or teachers tried to do to keep the two conflicting languages conflicts away, it would still emerge and that in his attempt to only think about one language, it would conflict with the other one and they would eventually compromise and both languages would be thought of. Growing up, she compares her literacy to an electronic tool and the ability to switch it on and off whenever she was in her natural place, which was home, and her alien place, which was school. This was the main struggle because it leads to the avoidance of writing with…show more content…
It came to dominate my understanding of the discussion on the social and historical scene and to restrict my ability to participate in that discussion.(444) If we go back and use the reference again of the electronic tool we can see the struggle of being at home and communicating with her family and having an influence of capitalistic viewpoints and living the life of a capitalist, then immediately having to communicate in a different language at school and being surrounded by socialistic views and living the life of a socialist. Her thoughts were constantly flip-flopping and this became very frustrating for her.

If we bring all these struggles into one main purpose, Min-Zhan Lu’s mother falls into silence two months before her death and Min-Zhan Lu attempts to “fill up that silence with words that I have since come to by reflecting on my earlier experience as a student in China.(437) The struggles that she faced growing up in China as a student and her past experiences have really helped her overcome life obstacles and develop her as a better reader and writer. In result, she now has the ability to fill up that silence with words and puts us in the point of view of her experiences she faced in

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