Analysis Of Caterina Edwards ' Island Of The Nightingales
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“Canadians of Italian descent should look overseas to get a more complete sense of their identities” (Paci 37). Exploring the themes of identity and immigration, this essay will focus on one short story and two case studies. Caterina Edwards’ Island of the Nightingales, follows Teresa Pomoronzola, a second-generation Italian immigrant living in Edmonton, who is sent to her mother’s homeland, the island of Lussino, in order to think clearly and gain perspective. Primarily, Teresa faces the internal conflict of choosing between her two lovers, yet she is also conflicted about her identity. Through the juxtaposition of divergent lifestyles and cultural values, Edwards’ Island of the Nightingales, suggests that a second-generation immigrant’s return to their family’s homeland is the ideal method for reconciling a conflicted identity and effectively understanding one’s background.
Firstly, second-generation immigrants do not feel connected to their homeland; instead their identity is tied to the place they were born. In a study conducted with Canadian-born Chinese (CBC) young adults, researchers claim: “migration involves constituting a sense of belonging in a new place while maintaining ties to the place of origin” (Kobayashi and Preston 235). This was concluded after many participants articulated a contested sense of belonging. When the old culture is abandoned, most often by second-generation immigrants, they do not connect to their cultural origins. Likewise, when the new