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Personal Essay 'Two Ways To Belong In America'

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A person's view on culture heavily influence how one sees and views the world around them. People are influenced by the cultures surrounding them as well as where they live. In the personal essay Two Ways to Belong in America ,written by Bharati Mukherjee, Bharati and her sister Mira were both born in Calcutta, India , but later moved to the United States. Bharati loved America and said "I am an American citizen and she is not" speaking to how she had embraced and been influenced by her surroundings but her sister had not. Sometimes you can ignore your surroundings and not be influenced by your experiences such as when Bharati says " Mira still lives in Detroit but hopes to move back to India when she retires". This shows how one can ignore…show more content…
Maggie valued her family quilts differently than what Dee thought they meant. In the passage Dee states Maggie’s use of the quilts, “Maggie would put them on a bed and in five years they’d be in rags. Less than that!” little did Dee know that the purpose of these quilts were intended for everyday use. Maggie was taught to quilt by her grandmothers’ and she remembers them by using the quilts. Maggie uses the quilts to honor their memory because she and her mother view the quilts for daily use. On the other hand, Dee’s view on culture is seldomly influenced by her experiences. This is because when the house burnt down Dee watched it be engulfed with flames, and she hated the house so much she could care less if it burnt down. Dee detests everything about her family’s culture. One way she despised it was by finding the meaning of her culture that does not relate to her family. Dee never grasped the meaning of her culture because she went off to become famous and let her family slowly slip away from her life the more famous she got. In the short story, Dee use of the quilts was for them to be hung shows how Dee valued her culture as an artifact and something that needed to be of the past.
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