Identity In Monica Sone's Neisei Daughter

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In her autobiography, Neisei Daughter, Monica Sone shares her journey and struggles of growing up, a task made more difficult as she faced racial and gender discrimination. Over the course of the novel she becomes aware of her unique identity and goes from resenting it, to accepting and appreciating her identity. At the age of six, Sone became aware of the fact that she was different, “I made the shocking discovery that I had Japanese blood. I was a Japanese (p. 3).” This realization was met with disapproval and many tears, as at the time it meant extra schooling. She experienced confusion between what she had perceived as her identity, a Yankee, she claimed “It was like being born with two heads. It sounded freakish and a lot of trouble (p.19).” She certainly wasn’t wrong about it being a lot of trouble. At her Japanese school she experienced even more of a disconnect between her two cultural heads, while at the school she was expected to behavior like a proper Japanese girl, she had to sit a certain way, respond in a certain manner, and bow when appropriate. This persona she took on during those few hours everyday clashed with her real personality, “Therefore promptly at five-thirty every day, I shed Nihon Gakko and returned with relief to an environment which was the only one real…show more content…
After attending a children’s talent show, Sone became enthralled by dancing. So much so that she wanted to take lessons, her mother agreed with her that it was a good idea. Her father had a different opinion, he strongly disapproved as he associated dancing with immoral and scandalous behavior, telling her mother “ ‘I’d die of disgrace if my daughter were to appear that like in public’ (p. 45).” Her life was impacted by his preconceived ideas of what was appropriate for a young girl, and since he was the ‘man of the house’ his ruling was
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