Dwight Okita Legal Alien Poem Analysis

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Discrimination has plagued the world since the beginning of time and continues to happen today. People can be discriminated against simply for looking different or following different customs. It has been implemented by governments throughout history, but it has also been practiced individually. “In Response to Executive Order 9066” and “Legal alien” are two poems that discuss the topic of discrimination. “In Response to Executive Order 9066,” by Dwight Okita is a poem that describes the possible interment of a Japanese-American during World War 2. The poem takes the perspective of a confused fourteen year old girl in school,who is saying goodbye to her best friend. Without a reason the speaker's best friend turns on her because of the recent…show more content…
It can be carried out legally against an entire group of people or simply against someone for their looks. These poems describe different ways in which discrimination is carried out. One of the poems demonstrates discrimination carried out systematically, while the other represents it being carried out at an individual level. Okita states, “Dear Sirs: Of course I'll come” (650). The fourteen year old girl describes the people who came to relocate her as “sirs,” meaning they were some type of authority figure (65). The authority figures must have been part of the federal government and are enforcing the executive order that allows the relocation of anyone from Japanese origin. This type of intolerance was carried out and held constitutional by the government. Mora states, “. . . an American to Mexicans a Mexican to Americans. . .” (65). The speaker describes being prejudged on a more individual level, unlike the other poem. This type of discrimination was carried out by individuals belonging to a certain group, not the group overall. The similarities between the poems are that both speakers try to show themselves as typical Americans. The author of “In Response to Executive Order 9066” states, “If it helps any, I will tell you I have always felt funny using chopsticks and my favorite food is hot dogs” (650). The speaker seems to distance herself from her Asian culture and integrates into the American way of life. The

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