Junot Diaz Drown Research Paper

1680 Words Dec 23rd, 2014 7 Pages
English 150
18 December 2014 Unconsciously, we all speak different languages; we categorize the way we speak by the environment and people at which we are speaking too. Whenever a character enters an unfamiliar environment, they experiment with language to find themselves and understand reality. For immigrants, language is a means to retain one’s identity; however, as they become more assimilated in their new communities their language no longer reflects that of their identity but of their new cultural surroundings. When an immigrant, immigrates to a new country they become marginalized, they’re alienated from common cultural practices, social ritual, and scripted behavior. It’s not without intercultural communication and negotiation do
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Language, culture, and self are inseparable, as one cannot exist without the other. The structuration of one's consciousness stems from the language that one learns as a child, thus the formation of self is largely out of one’s control. As humans we live to experience, for our native language structures the world at which we inhabit and molds one's very modes of conscious awareness. Simply put, “who we become is not a matter of our own volition” (Encyclopedia of Identity 384), how we perceive and evaluate the world at large is entirely out of our control. Our development consciously is driven by the world we are brought into, ergo the language and culture we are raised with ultimately determines who we become. We see this very phenomenon enumerated within the short narratives of Drown. Yunior struggles to negotiate the differences between Dominican and American cultures; however, he is “caught somewhere in between.” In the Dominican Republic, Yunior embraces the language of his culture, illustrated through his inclusion of Spanish slang; however, in America, Yunior suppresses his Dominican culture in favor of the dominant culture, for Yunior seeks societal acceptance. In “Edison, New Jersey,” he rarely speaks Spanish unless surrounded by those of his native culture. Caught between two worlds, Yunior struggles…