Four Chinese mothers have migrated to America. Each hope for their daughter’s success and pray that they will not experience the hardships faced in China. One mother, Suyuan, imparts her knowledge on her daughter through stories. The American culture influences her daughter, Jing Mei, to such a degree that it is hard for Jing Mei to understand her mother's culture and life lessons. Yet it is not until Jing Mei realizes that the key to understanding who her
The events recounted in Anne Frank’s Diary took place during World War 11. By 1933, the strongest party in Germany had gained ultimate power with Hitler under their command. Hitler was Germany’s dictator who spread his gospel of racial hatred through politics. While poverty and unemployment were at an all time high he launched a campaign of anti-Semitism. Hitler’s main target was the Jews, claiming that they were “racially inferior.” He developed an idea of a Master Aryan Race, the need to rid Germany of “inferior people”, such as Jews and Gypsies, and the need to expand Germany’s borders. In doing this, he caused many Jews to abandoned their homes and go into total isolation. The Frank family
The ending of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is both controversial and thought provoking. Many see Edna Pontellier’s suicide as the final stage of her “awakening”, and the only way that she will ever be able to truly be free. Edna’s suicide, however, is nothing more than her final attempt to escape from her life. Edna Pontellier’s life has become too much for her to handle, and by committing suicide she is simply escaping the oppression she feels from her marriage, the suppression she feels from her children, and the failure of her relationship with Robert.
Setting is one of the many way we learn about character. In Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets,” June May, the protagonist, at the age of fifteen denied that she had any Chines whatsoever in her. Now at the age of thirty-six June May is on way to China carry her mother’s dream of going back home, with her seventy two year old father, Canning Woo. Their first stop will be Guangzhou, to visit Canning Woo aunt who he had not seen since he was ten years
Many new arrivals still struggle to survive and often Chinese Americans still encounter suspicion and hostility. Chinese Americans have achieved great success and now, like so many others, they are stitching together a new American identity. As Michelle Ling, a young Chinese American, tells Bill Moyers in Program 3, “I get to compose my life one piece at a time, however I feel like it. Not to say that it’s not difficult and that there isn’t challenge all the time, but more than material wealth, you get to choose what you are, who you are.” (www.pbs.org)
To begin with, The Joy Luck Club centers its content around the lives of eight women of Chinese heritage each with their own stories to tell; yet, all striving to satisfy their aspirations in America. A concisive cross is common between the mothers’ hopes compared to those of the American born daughters. Immigrating to America for various reasons, the four mothers all had one goal in mind, to not only construct themselves a better life, but also ensure the finest future for their daughters. For the mothers in the Joy Luck Club, the American dream was to instill Chinese history, heritage, and habit in their daughters while providing American opportunities of growth, gratification, and gallantry. Carrying heavy pasts, the four original American Joy Luck Club members arrived in The United States to start anew, “America was where
Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound weaves two traditional narratives of the fifties -- suburban domesticity and rampant anticommunism -- into one compelling historical argument. Aiming to ascertain why, unlike both their parents and children, postwar Americans turned to marriage and parenthood with such enthusiasm and commitment, May discovers that cold war ideology and the domestic revival [were] two sides of the same coin: postwar Americans' intense need to feel liberated from the past and secure in the future. (May, p. 5-6, 10) According to May, "domestic containment" was an outgrowth of the fears and aspirations unleashed after the war -- Within the home, potentially dangerous social forces of
Jack’s predicament with finding himself being stuck between his original lifestyle and new desire to fit in was cleverly established in the story, drawing my sympathy, as I have also personally experienced this struggle. In the middle of the story when Jack began to realize that his Chinese life was different from others’, he narrated, “Mom learned to cook American style. I played video games and studied French” (4). These succinct sentences stood out, as the surrounding
I am an Asian-American woman living and working in the global city of New York. Growing up in an international city allowed me to become a multicultural individual and develop into a young woman different from my counterparts in Asia and here in the United States as well. I was taught by my parents not only the values of a Chinese culture but also to strive to enhance my strengths and to go forth and establish a successful career in business while always relating back to my Chinese roots. These values of diligence, perseverance and selflessness influence my everyday work and personal life.
In the story “Two Kinds”, author Amy Tan, who is a Chinese-American, describes the conflicts in the relationship of a mother and daughter living in California. The protagonist in this story Jing-mei Woo’s mother is born and raised in China, and immigrates to the United States to escape from the Chinese Civil War. For many years she maintained complete Chinese traditional values, and has been abided by it deliberately. This kind of traditional Chinese culture has also affected her daughter profoundly. However, Jing-mei is born and raised in the United States. Despite she has a Chinese mother; she is unfamiliar and uncomfortable with Chinese
Written by Margaret K. Pai, the Dreams of Two Yi-min narrates the story of her Korean American family with the main focus on the life journeys of her father and mother, Do In Kwon and Hee Kyung Lee. Much like the majority of the pre-World War II immigrants, the author’s family is marked and characterized by the common perception of the “typical” Asian immigrant status in the early 20th century: low class, lack of English speaking ability, lack of transferable education and skills, and lack of knowledge on the host society’s mainstream networks and institutions (Zhou and Gatewood 120, Zhou 224). Despite living in a foreign land with countless barriers and lack of capital, Kwon lead his wife and children to assimilate culturally,
The focus of our group project is on Chinese Americans. We studied various aspects of their lives and the preservation of their culture in America. The Chinese American population is continually growing. In fact, in 1990, they were the largest group of Asians in the United States (Min 58). But living in America and adjusting to a new way of life is not easy. Many Chinese Americans have faced and continue to face much conflict between their Chinese and American identities. But many times, as they adapt to this new life, they are also able to preserve their Chinese culture and identity through various ways. We studied these things through the viewing of a movie called Joy Luck Club,
Ha Jin’s “The Woman from New York”, showcases the grand impacts of adjusting to cultural differences. This story encompasses both the emotional feat and the physical feat in distance that many go through in their lives. It specifically reveals the challenges that arise in adapting to new life back at home when in the past, a person lived elsewhere and much differently. In following the life of Chen Jenli in this story, readers can explore her societal and cultural struggles or they can place themselves in her shoes. In using Chen Jenli as a vessel, “The Woman from New York” addresses various and most certainly relatable difficulties that people like immigrants or expatriates face. However, these individuals can rely on the psychological process of mindfulness to help in adjustment and difficulties.
Elizabeth Wong is a Chinese-American playwright who wrote “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl”. In her essay, she describes her resentment of her Chinese roots and her protest against her parents who want her to learn and appreciate her heritage and culture. Her essay exposes the pressure that society places on immigrant children to fit into the dominant culture. The proposed solutions to fixing this problem is thinking and implementing long term plans. I make the argument that his ethical problem of society placing such a heavy burden on immigrant children to fit into the dominate culture can be solved with the implementation of multicultural classes, language classes, additional counselors and child psychologists in public schools.
Amy Tan’s short story “Two Kinds” describes a Chinese immigrant family who hope of finding success and an overall betterment of life in America. After losing everything in China, Jing-mei’s mother, Mrs. Woo, tries as a minority house maid in the 1960s to provide all the opportunities she can for her last daughter. This short story revolves around the interactions between the Jing-mei, who desires a ordinary life, and Mrs. Woo, who seeks only the best from her daughter. The values of these two characters are in constant conflict of which creates a lasting segregation between parent and child. Through Mrs. Woo’s death, Jing-mei questions her childhood upbringing and her mother’s true intentions that were masked by pure immigrant ambition.