Bitter In The Mouth Short Story

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Rachel Mathews E 260 March 13, 2018 Dr. Shaun Morgan Paper #1 “Bitter in the Mouth” by Monique Truong explores race, gender and sexuality, and never had a definite theme. It starts off with a young, seven-year-old North Carolina girl, with many layered secrets, who name was Linda Hammerick. She stated that she “fell in love with” (1) her great-uncle Baby Harper. She also talks about her parents, DeAnne and Thomas, and her best friend, Kelly. She states that she was her father’s tomboy and her mother’s baton twirler and that she went far away for college and law school, now living in New York. There was narrative discourse throughout this story because the narrator used emotions and the past to narrate it. Also, the narrator used an odd chronological…show more content…
Baby Harper was a bachelor who took photographs that were puzzles but enlightenment to Linda. He was basically her mentor. He was a man who has been closeted his whole life which is revealed that he was gay later in the story. Harper was a big part of talking about sexuality throughout this story. Linda mentions that Baby Harper told her that there was no shame worse than silence. This sentence is perfect to summarize the story because Linda broke silence about sex, religion, race, and sexuality. Linda, towards the end of the story, just wanted an answer and an explanation for her damaged family (burnt toast) who she is disappointed with. The chronological order the way Linda puts this story keeps us guessing and filling…show more content…
This is one of the most significant quote in the book. Instead of comparing her immigrant mother to Linda, who was American born, Linda uses the example of being in a privileged white family. Linda mentions, “from the age of seven to eighteen, there was nothing Asian about me except my body” (169-70). Linda stated that she looked Asian, but she didn’t feel Asian what so ever. She used the quote, “Since leaving Boiling Springs, I was often asked by complete strangers what it was like to grow up being Asian in the South. You mean what was it like to grow up looking Asian in the South, I would say back to them…For me, pointing out to them the difference between “being” and “looking” was the beginning, the middle, and the end of my answer” (169). Overall, Linda is stating that American identity was more about appearance rather than just tradition. Despite being in a white privileged home, that does not take away people seeing her as Asian. She also felt like she could relate to the black community in Boiling Springs because she felt like she did not belong in that current society. The two words “being” and “looking” are completely different definitions, they both define with how people looks at others today meaning what you look like defines who and what you are. This announcement left me uneasy because it made me realize why she acts the way she does and why

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