Comparing Culture In Bless Me, Ultima, And

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Culture is highly influential on an individual, until it isn’t. Similar to the latest trends or crazes of society, culture only affects the perspectives of people until something new is introduced. In reality, that might include an individual straying away from the values of their family in order to create their own sense of culture, which causes their family to not influence their perspectives anymore. In literature, such as the novel Bless Me, Ultima, and the short stories of “Everyday Use,” “Occupation: Conductorette,” and “Going to Japan,” this theme of culture only influencing a character for a limited amount of time still persists. The culture of an individual influences their perspective on the others and the world, but only until the…show more content…
In Bless Me, Ultima, Antonio was conflicted between his father’s wishes of Antonio being a vaquero of the llano and his mother’s wishes for him to be a priest; however, Antonio ultimately decides that he does “not have to be just a Márez, or Luna, perhaps [he] can be both” (Anaya 247). Antonio’s internal conflict of which parent he wanted to please influenced his view of the world by causing him to question his decisions and his motives. Throughout the novel, Antonio realizes that he does not have to do exactly as one of his parents wishes. He believes that he can assert his individuality and allow the Márez and Luna, paternal and maternal respectively, pieces of him to live together in him cohesively. Maya Angelou in “Occupation: Conductorette” also experiences a realization that she does not have to conform to what people tell her she can and cannot do. Maya Angelou is told by her mother that people of color are not allowed to work on the streetcars, but she refuses to take no for an answer and eventually she “was hired as the first Negro on the San Francisco streetcars” (Angelou 31). Immediately after her mother told her that she could not be a conductorette, Maya feels disappointed and defeated, a detail that…show more content…
Antonio faces difficulties in school due to his inability to effectively communicate with his classmates and teacher which is an impact of his upbringing in a Spanish-speaking home and it is detrimental until he decides he wants to learn “the magic in the letters” (Anaya 58). Antonio arrives at school excited for this new chapter in his life, but he leaves his first day feeling defeated due to his vast cultural differences from the other students. Antonio decides that he wanted to learn the language returns to school prepared to be immersed in this new language. His challenges regarding communication only followed him until he learned English, one of the languages of Antonio’s new culture. Barbara Kingsolver in “Going to Japan” faces a similar struggle when she arrives in Japan. Kingsolver cannot communicate with the people of Japan due to her lack of understanding of the culture and language until she memorizes different “degrees of apology” to say to the victims of her transgressions (Kingsolver 122). Barbara Kingsolver did not want to stand out from the people of Japan, but unlike Antoni, she knew it was inevitable. She first learns the different ways to say she was sorry for his

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