When Asian came to America— a place where full of unfamiliar faces, speak different language, have different belief and culture, how would they respond and adapt to these changes? This essay investigates on Asian American experience in terms of culture, racial discrimination, culture assimilation and collision, and lost of identity through diverse motions in four Asian American poems- “Eating Alone”, “Eating Together”, and “Persimmons” by Li-Young Lee, and “The Lost Sister” by Cathy Song. From the motions or movement in the poems, we can further look into their life and feeling of being an Asian American. In “Eating Alone” and “Eating Together”, speaker would like to express his yearning towards his death father and convey the hierarchy of
This paragraph from Kesaya Noda’s autobiographical essay “Growing Up Asian in America” represents the conflict that the author feels between her Japanese ethnicity, and her American nationality. The tension she describes in the opening pages of her essay is between what she looks like and is judged to be (a Japanese woman who faces racial stereotypes) versus what she feels like and understands (life as a United States citizen). This passage signals her connection to Japan; and highlights her American upbringing.
His ranting about ethnic pride leaves one with pride and reflects the liberal education he had at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he majored in Asian American studies. I empathize with him when I notice that Benjamin’s last name and his ethnic identity are the products of his adoption as an infant into an Asian American family. There is a similarity of character between his and mine ,this happened when few of my cousins took a trip to Calabar a state in Nigeria to go find the grave of my maternal great grandfather who was sent on exile for mix communication,he died and was buried there,a thing that never happened in the Benin kingdom a to a king.We experience the same attitude Benjamin character got from Ronnie.The first person we met as we enter the city misdirected us,after all said and done we find where he was buried we were filled with joy and we paid homage.furthermore the reason for Benjamin’s visit to New York City is a kind of pilgrimage during which he wants to pay homage to his recently deceased father. This being his first time to the New York City, he is obviously lost as he does not know the whereabouts of the location. His objective is to visit his father’s birth house in Chinatown. However, since he is new to the place, he needs directions to reach there. This is where the clash comes when he hopes to wrestle the information from Ronnie. He assumes that since Ronnie is Asian in appearance, and looks might be the right person to provide him the relevant
The story of Gook, written and directed by Justin Chon, follows the story of two Korean brothers, Eli and Daniel, and their struggle to maintain their father’s shoe business. They live in Paramount, a city characterized heavily by poverty and diversity. Eli and Daniel work at a shoe store where a young African American girl, Kamilla, frequently visits. Eli and Daniel eventually become Kamilla’s mentor and cares for her. Kamilla’s connection to the two brothers conflicts with her brother, Keith, and his negative view of Asian Americans. Keith acts on his angers against the Asian Americans and attempts to steal from the Asian American community. The plot is set in the backdrop of the Rodney King riots, which emphasizes a moment in history when
In Amy Tan’s short story, Two Kinds, there are not just two kinds of conflict but many.. These include; American versus Chinese cultural differences, a parent’s wishes versus a child’s wants, and the pursuit of material success versus personal contentment. However, the most obvious is the conflict between Jing-mei and her unnamed mother’s personalities. Jing-mei is a young Chinese-American grade school girl with a modern independence. Her mother on the other hand, is a old-world Chinese immigrant who left everything behind in order to make a better life for herself and her only child. The author, Amy Tan, shows how they struggle to relate to each other, but also shows their good qualities in order to redeem these two characters in the end.
Assimilation is usually meant to indicate what happens to immigrants in a new land. However, “rejection, loneliness, discrimination—these were the byproducts of living in the United States” (Ghymn 37). In Marilyn Chin’s essay on assimilation “How I Got That Name,” the speaker acquaints the readers how she got the American name “Marilyn.” The tension between the two cultures is evident, for the speaker is treated as “Model Minority.” Her race and ethnicity define her; in fact, the stereotypes inscribed with her race restricted and cage her significance in the society. Similarly, David Hwang’s 10-minute play “Trying to Find Chinatown” centers on an encounter between Ronnie, a Chinese-American street musician, and Benjamin, a Caucasian tourist from Wisconsin who identifies himself as Asian-American, in the busy street of New York. In the play, “each character defines who he believes he is: Benjamin is convinced he is a Chinese American, and Ronnie sees
“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan is a well written short story about the conflicts of a Chinese immigrant mother and child, who clash due to their different definitions of living a fulfilled life. In the short story, a theme that has played out from paragraph to paragraph is the suppression of a person 's identity based on the expectations of society. In the story, the author states that “We didn 't immediately pick the right kind of prodigy. At first, my mother thought I could be a Chinese Shirley Temple” (Tan paragraph 4). The word prodigy is defined as a young person who is endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities. Amy 's mother wanted her child from the moment she was born to be a prodigy or what the story defines as a Chinese version
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality… I believe that the unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” - Martin Luther King Jr. Grace Hsiang in “FOBs” vs. “Twinkies” demonstrates the interracial issues happening in the Asian culture. Hsiang displays the interracial matter with the Asian culture and its complexity to embrace all sides of the community. She chooses diction in her writing such as discriminated, marginalized, pressure, and dichotomy to project the tone of her writing. While the article Black Men in Public Places illustrates the stereotypes and intraracial issues within the black men community. In both of these articles, the authors show similarities of discrimination however the articles highlight differences using diction, anecdotes, and tone throughout their writing with the soul purpose to account for racism. The authors write and project towards a certain audience to acknowledged the racial issues the people are still facing.
Often times, identities are given to individuals based on their social status within a certain community, after the assessment of predominant characteristics that said individual has. However, within the context of an ethnicity, the concept identity is most probably applied to all members of the ethnical group, and not just one individual.
Contrary to the expectations of many individuals in the United States, race and ethnicity are not the same. Although both race and ethnicity are connected in the fact that both are socially constructed in modern times, race and ethnicity did not originate under similar circumstances. Race is more concrete and not dynamic, ultimately causing one’s race to be solidified in an individual’s early stages of development in society. Race was originally created in order to oppress certain individual’s in society and allow one group of individuals to be seen as superior and other groups as inferior, thereby proliferating oppression and establishment of distinctions between the in-group and the out-group. Race was not created as a way to understand the
Living as a Chinese-American, the narrator had to take on American attributes in order to be accepted -- for example, while normal Chinese women spoke with strong and assertive voices, the narrator adopted a whisper in order to appear “American-feminine.”(1) As a result, however, her shy demeanor caused her to be an unpopular outcast. She saw herself in another Chinese-American girl at her school, as they had certain, negative similarities. “I hated the younger sister, the quiet one. I hated her when she was the last chosen for her team and I, the last chosen for my team. I hated her for her China doll hair cut.”(1) Both the narrator and the girl chose to conform to American standards and made themselves “feminine”; relating the girl’s quiet nature to her own, the narrator hated her for it. ““If you don’t talk, you can’t have a personality. You’ll have no personality and no hair. You’ve got to let people know you have a personality and a brain...Nobody’s going to notice you.””(2) While she wanted to be quiet and feminine, as American standards encouraged her to be, she also hated the fact that she wasn’t strong or bossy like normal Chinese girls - one part of her only wanted to fit in with the “ghosts”, or the white people, while the other part of her hated the fact that her assimilation to America caused her to lose her voice and personality. As a Chinese-American, growing up in a biased society where she would be judged for both trying to assimilate and for keeping her cultural personality alive made the narrator become caught between two separate identities, which would tangle her in a web of self-hatred and despair -- in other words, being raised in America certainly had a bad influence over her life, her happiness, and her
“The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” by Wesley Yang, takes the mass murder of Virginia Tech shooting, Seung-Hui Cho, and the representation of “modern class of losers,” to reflect what it means to be an Asian-American in an environment that appearance, social status, and expression is highly valued. Yang approaches his essay regarding Seung-Hui Cho with sympathy, rather than complete hatred and distaste (a view collectively shared by Americans). He provides a personal account of his own experiences and observations of being an unattractive Asian kid in context towards the similar desperate for love Seung-Hui Cho. In “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” the New Jersey writer Wesley Yang brings to light—through a personal look—at the possible causation and origins of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. Although highly well-written and thought-provoking, “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” nevertheless, left me with some confusion, especially regarding the direction of most of the material in the piece.
The definition of someone’s identity is the distinct personality of an individual. There are a lot of factors that determines someone’s identity. Things such as your race, role in society, and your faith. Throughout our lives, we seek out people who we can identify with. We reach out to others and learn from interests they have and we evaluate their responses to us. Most people eventually find a group were comfortable with. For others however, this is not the case. Through the process of finding this group is when we discover our identity. Throughout the Color of Water, James McBride shows us that one views his/her identity through responses from others and also through our own thoughts, actions and emotions.
Just like the ancient monkey, Wittman has assumed many shapes to suit his purposes. In a prolonged rant, Wittman uses his own device of an open communal platform for improvisation to steal the show. The last chapter of the book is aptly called a “one-man show.” Although Wittman expresses his desire for the play to belong to the community, he uses the final act of the play as a narcissistic platform. He asserts himself and views the Chinese American society he created within the play as the easiest way to proclaim his individuality. Instead of focusing his monologue on the play being for all Chinese Americans and their inclusion in a model society, Wittman talks about himself, how he does not fit in, and how he is “unfit for office work” (322). His diatribe embodies the rage that he feels in his life about white American society not accepting him. Wittman is a “human being standing right here on land which I belong to and which belongs to [him]” (327), and he is upset that neither group will not accept him solely on this basis. Wittman says that he wanted to create a Chinese American community that is not distinct from the rest of America because of its Chinese roots; "we need to be part of the daily love life of the country, to be shown and loved continuously until we’re not
In the poem, "When I Was Growing Up”, Nellie Wong relates the struggles of a Chinese girl growing up, searching to find her voice in a predominantly white cultural majority. The speaker begins the poem with, “I know now that once I longed to be white,” (1). This speaker longs for the privileges she attributes to being a member of the cultural majority. Ashamed of her darker Asian skin and Chinese culture, the speaker laments, “…I could not change, I could not shed / my skin…” (49, 50). The poem details the feelings of the speaker as she was growing up in America, while simultaneously being immersed in Chinese culture. She wanted to be part of the American white culture as it was depicted and glamorized by the media and movies. "When I Was Growing Up", utilizes literary devices such as diction, imagery, and symbolism to create friction and express the theme of shame and regret that the speaker feels about her longings to be white.