“Heritage is something that your parents instill in you, your morals, your heart, mind and soul”. “Culture is something that changes over time and is passed down to the next generation and so on”, these two things should be something that is important to you. In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” and Bharati Mukherjee’s personal essay, “Two ways to Belong in America” by Bharati Mukherjee the comparison of Maggie and Mira show two women who hold on to their original culture while Bharati and Dee want another life. These stories make me wonder the same question. Why do the younger siblings appreciate their culture more?
In the short story, “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker uses her contrasting characters of Maggie and Dee to show a cultural split. Dee, the eldest daughter, comes home to visit her family who lives a very traditional way of life. Dee has gone to college and lives a more modernist lifestyle, whereas her sister Maggie has not gone to school and lives a more traditionalist lifestyle. This difference between the sisters shows the division in the 1960s between a traditionalist and modernist lifestyle through the characters Maggie and Dee. During the 1960s some African-Americans began to replace their birth names with names of African or Muslim descent, but what was the reason behind this change?
The novel The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse, explains the concept of borderline through the life of Aurora and her half-sister Angie by showing how they felt divided into both sides of either looking for a better life outside of Echo Park or staying there as how their parents did. Through the sisters’ life’s, I learned how the people around you and your choices can cause you to be in a borderline that could be difficult to decide what you want in life. Borderline is the “frontera”, but in the novel borderline is presented as in the space in which the two sisters are in and how they have two pathways to follow and they don’t know what to do since the people around them contribute to them being in a borderline. In chapter 2, Aurora’s borderline is presented with her wanting to have the big house and money Mrs. Calhoun, Felicia’s boss, had which is shown when she is invited to have a pool party with her friends there.
Our natural environment shaped our individual character; for Leah, she is independent and a character all of her own, but I am independent yet still follow a set pattern that of my family and beliefs. Furthermore social interactions and involvements along with behaviors demonstrated to us also played a huge role in how we live our lives
As a result, she gives in to her sister’s request and tells her mom, “She can have them” (321 Walker). The quilts have a different value for each daughter. In Maggie case, “it was Grandma Dee and Big Dee who taught her how to quilt”, her mother promised her the quilts after she was married, and because they were meant to be used and appreciated. Maggie hints that she thinks of the quilts as a reminder of her aunt and grandmother when she says, “I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts” (321 Walker). Dee/Wangero sees the quilts as “priceless” (320 Walker).
In Dwight Okita's story we see the openness and acceptance of her way of life from her parents to live the life of this new land. In Cisneros' story we see the direct opposition of her lifestyle by the grandmother. Overall we see in both stories we see that no matter your country of origin we will all face adversity from others to be accepted as americans and no matter these struggles nothing can stop one from being what they choose to be in life. The two narrators show innocence and compassion for their ways of life despite the opposition of the US government in Okita's story and the grandmother in Cisneros'
It is common for people in everyday society to conform to society’s expectations while also questioning their true desires. In the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, the main protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess, "That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions." In other words, Edna outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Kate Chopin, uses this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning to build the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period. Edna outwardly conforms to society’s expectations by marriage.
Within the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Madame Ratignolle’s character possesses traits that emphasize, by contrast the characteristics and behavior of Edna Pontellier. Despite being close friends within the novel, Adele and Edna have contrasting views and behaviors that illuminate the theme of female freedom and the tradition of female submission and male domination. Madame Ratignolle and Edna Pontellier are close friends, but their views toward raising children differ fundamentally. Madame Ratignolle would sacrifice her identity to devote herself entirely to her children, household, and husband, whereas Edna would not. Besides their views towards raising children, how they raise their children also differs.
In the "Feminist Standpoint Theory" by Julia T. Wood postulates, “a feminist standpoint grows out of encountering oppositional knowledge” (Wood). In Shah’s piece, she maintains a standpoint understanding of the subjective disposition of her parent’s cultural perspective construct of her sister’s social choices as compared to her own and her parent’s oppositional expectations. Additionally, she is critical of the disproportionate significances of her sister and parent’s standpoint of the culture of India and one in the United States in regard to her sister’s choice of clothing, her attitude, and sexuality. Shah expresses her viewpoint regarding her culture, her sister’s openness to be “western sexy” through having a feminist boyfriend, being
JhumpaLahiri’s first and second generation Indian immigrant women characters play the traditional gender roles in a conscious effort to preserve the culture left behind. They try to preserve Indian culture in their home through their attention to religion, food, dress, and raising Indian children. The challenges of mainstream American life require Lahiri’s women toadjust their approach to their gender roles. While the division between home and outside is essential in the sense that home is still the sacred space in which to act on one’s cultural identity, the demands of life in the United States, particularly the independence of the modern American woman, make it difficult for immigrant women to move back and forth between their native cultural traditions and mainstream American society on their own terms.