Essay on Asian American

1356 Words 6 Pages
Reflections in a Foreign Mirror

After reading the novels assigned in this Asian American class, it seems that many Asian American experiences are similar. One similarity that is outstandingly prominent is how an outside culture impacts either directly or indirectly a foreign society. Often, the influences of the powerful yet glamorous American lifestyle lead to self-hatred of one's own society and culture. We see this in "Obasan," by Joy Kogawa, and in "Dogeaters," by Jessica Hagedorn, where many of the characters cease to acknowledge their own identity by living vicariously through movies, music and other American influences. In this essay, I will compare and contrast the portrayals of this self-hatred, and analyze how America
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In this quote Rio acknowledges her weakness at such a young age. It seems awkward for a ten year old to understand weakness because usually children at that age believe they are invisible, unstoppable, and even superheroes. Acknowledgment of weakness suggests that Rio has been exposed to a culturally debilitating society. She also enjoys the theater, a place where she can retreat from her everyday life and "live" in American movies. The movie theater is a place for escape from a mundane Filipino life to a glamorous American one. The comfort that the theater brings is not just physical, it is also mental; allowing moviegoers to "live" like an American.

Self-hatred and shame of one's identity is seen through the favoritism of American characteristics. For example, Pucha is adorned because of her blond hair and her mestiza nose (p5), suggesting that having blond hair and a straight pointy nose is superior to having dark hair and a broad nose - a common Filipino characteristic. Pucha is also described as strong, overpowering and confident further suggesting that American characteristics alone can make one inherently advantaged. Another instance where we see self-denial is with Rio's father who adamantly calls himself a guest in his own country; even though he is a third generation Filipino (p7). He argues that though he was born in the Philippines, he feels like a
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