Literary Analysis: Exploring American Identity

906 Words4 Pages
Literary Analysis: Exploring American Identity Introduction This essay compares “In response to executive order 9066” (poem) by Dwight Okita to “Mericans” (short story) by Sandra Cisneros. Specifically, the essay explores the central theme of American identity in the two literary works. The “Mericans” is about a little girl who has a story about the new world and the old world. In this case, the new world is America. The young girl is prevented from entering the church where her grandmother has prayers. As a person from the old world, the young girl is not allowed to play with boys from the new world. On the other hand, “in response to executive order” by Dwight Okita is about Americans of Japanese origins that were supposed to report to relocation…show more content…
The poem has life experiences of a fourteen-year-old girl who is caught between the Japanese and American culture. The young girl claims that she does not know how to use Japanese chopsticks that are symbolic of the Japanese culture. In fact, the girl claims that she understands more the hot dogs as opposed to using chopsticks (Rhea 7). This means that the girl seems to understand the American culture as opposed to her Japanese culture. The girl identifies more with the American culture and thus the issue of American identity. The young girl claims that her favorite food is hot dogs and she does not know how to use Japanese chopsticks. This demonstrates of a child who disregards her Japanese culture and glorifies an American identity. Both hot dogs and chopsticks are symbols that surround the girl who is torn between two distinct…show more content…
This complicates even further the girl’s way of life as she tries to relate to the American identity. The friendship between the two girls originated in school. The Japanese girl does not seem to stop her ways of relating to Americans. She considers Americans more friends than her Japanese contemporaries. However, Denise who is her American friend accuses her of not being loyal to their friendship (Okita 1). She claims that she is always leaking secret information to her enemies regarding their friendship. Denise, the American girl, seems not to recognize her friend as having an American identity. Denise accuses the Japanese girl of always starting a war that is not deserved. The American girl reprimands her Japanese friend for her actions of having a big mouth. The big mouth of the Japanese girl symbolizes how the Americans take the Japanese. Most Americans believed that the Japanese leaked secrets of America to destroy their country. Conclusion In conclusion, the two literary works have the American identity as a central theme. People from different cultures seem to be split between their culture and America. The Mexican siblings are caught between their culture and that of America. Also, the Japanese girl is split between her culture and that of the US. The people from the two foreign cultures seem to identify with the American
Open Document