Simple Recipes Identity Theme

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Throughout “Simple Recipes” by Madeline Thein, strong thematic elements of identity are present, as well as implications of what gives one identity, or causes loss of it. Identity is explored through an immigrant family facing the common challenge of parents’ desire to keep traditional values, and children facing acculturation. Furthermore, Identity is presented through the eyes of a naïve young girl, describing her memories with strong sensory imagery in all elements, as well as reflections through symbolism. The underlying question drawn from the story, is whether one should choose to live for what others wish for us, or if one should carve a future for them self, despite expectations. The choices and thought process through the decision she makes projects the conflicting tone of the story. The main theme within “Simple Recipes” is identity within relationships. This theme echoes throughout the story. As the girl grows as a young child…show more content…
In another light, her decision was not a truly a loss. Through this, she was able to embrace her individuality, free from the ties of her father’s expectations and the distress in the toxic relationship between herself and her family. In a sense, she finds solace, and alleviation of pain. A part of her will always have She struggles because throughout her childhood she experiences two juxtaposing versions of her father, one of which cannot be reconciled. She does everything in her power to make her home everything her families was not. She stated “In my apartment, I keep the walls scrubbed clean. I open the windows and turn the fan on whenever I prepare a meal.” By doing so she parallels her childhood home which was “yellowed with grease. Even the air was dense with it”. In spite of this, she explained how she missed the way her family shared mealtimes
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