Acceptance: Chinese & American Born Perspectives in Poetry

2069 Words Nov 24th, 2012 9 Pages
Kelvin Yee
Skyline College
English 110
Paper #2

Acceptance: Chinese & American Born Chinese Perspectives in Poetry

The United States is a place where people can have diverging views on how to describe the diverse nation. The country in fact does not have an official language because of the myriad of distinct ethnicities residing within the country. With all this diversity it is only natural for people to struggle with which cultural norm to follow. Of the many immigrants that have journeyed to the U.S. for a better life, Chinese immigrants perhaps have been discriminated against the most because at one point they were considered an alien incapable of assimilating which lead to laws preventing their immigration and
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These issues are deeply philosophical as there are many cultural dimensions rooted within them.
These two distinguished poets have gone to great lengths to not only alert us to mounting issues in our society but they give us a map to navigate these turbulent waters as well. The struggles presented in the poems are not merely that of being an outsider because they have a fervent underlying clash of cultures that exists within them. Take Tsui’s poem for example, she asserts that you should allow your individuality to shine through but at the same time be respectful of the differing societal views. The first evidence of this notion is established early on in her poem where the reader discovers the narrator’s individuality flourishing in the form of fashion because the reader is specifically informed that the narrator is dressed differently from the rest of the female attendees of the family function.
The narrator could have easily chosen to cause a raucous or simply refuse to attend the family function because her partner was not welcome at the event. Instead of pursuing either of these two scenarios she attends and “[sucks] on shrimp and squab” (Tsui 613) minding her own business while daydreaming of acceptance. This decision is very significant because the narrator demonstrates that she is still able to be respectful of the traditions of her family and culture while still allowing her
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