Mona In The Promised Land Analysis

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Hanging red lanterns, golden calligraphic characters, and lucky rabbit feet are not aspects of the average American household, but they are the kind of symbols Callie Change latches onto in her attempt to find her own identity, separate from her family, in the novel Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen. Callie was born an American, raised as a hybrid of an American in the 1960s and a Chinese first-born daughter, and in reaction she decided to embrace her ancestry and try to find herself in her Chinese heritage. She ultimately fails at resolving her own identity and falls back into what was expected from her since the beginning, for in her journey of self discovery Callie finds that she can’t detach herself from the greater whole she has known her entire life. Callie tries to branch away from her family and discover her roots, but eventually she fades back into the flexi-self mindset and follows the path her parents had planned out for her: she is the daughter to achieve the American Dream. She graduates from medical school, marries a husband of good standing, has a beautiful family, and lives in the kind of home Helen and Ralph always envisioned for themselves, but her failure lies in how she ended up behind her white picket fence. She tried so hard to distance herself from her family-mindset and be her own individual in college, but even in her most rebellious phase Callie always felt attached and duty-bound to her family. She could not escape her upbringing and
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