Waverly is struggling with her cultural identity during her coming of age as a Chinese
Jin Wang was born in America but is also Chinese. He faces some difficulties with racism and stereotypes as he grows up. He just moved to a new school from San Francisco. The teacher introduces him to the class and says,” Class, I'd like us all to give a warm Mayflower Elementary welcome to your new friend and Classmate Jin Wang...He and his family recently moved to our neighborhood all the way from China!”(30). Jin has this look on his face of annoyance. Like, did she actually say this. She is too ignorant to ask so she just assumed that since he is Chinese, that he must be from China. He was born in America. This just shows how ignorant people are about other cultures. It makes it even harder to fit in if people don't even care where you're from and just make assumptions. Jin now experiences this first hand. He tries so hard to fit in and be normal. He goes as far as changing his hair to match the guys hair that Amelia likes. When he isn't noticed as much he wants to become someone else, someone who will fit in. He wakes up in the morning a new person, as he has transformed into someone he is not, he thinks to himself,”A new face deserved a new name. I decided to call myself...Danny”(198). He changed his race he didn't like his heritage and cultures so much
There was a time she didn’t know how to describe a “white board marker” in Chinese, so she asked her class how to say it. “One girl, who went by the name of Tracy, eagerly told [Stephanie the word], and had a huge smile on her face” (Lam). Even though the language barrier was difficult, she and her students overcame it together with pointing and various other universal gestures and facial expressions. This way, the students were encouraged to understand English better to communicate with their teacher, and my cousin refined her own oral Chinese skills. The students “were kind and willing to help despite [her] poor Chinese, and didn’t judge [her] either” (Lam). The students were happy enough that she came all the way to Taiwan to teach them English. They respected this, and were eager to help her discover a new culture and improve on her Chinese abilities. The barrier was still tough for Stephanie, but thanks to the kindness of her students, it was much easier to bear through and succeed. It was a new and unknown world for my cousin, but she still made the most of her experience and discovered so much more about East Asian culture.
A world once filled with Asian friends and neighbors crashes harshly as Jin is left stranded in a white dominated school. Stereotypes and teasing are quickly placed on him from his racial background. Still new to the area, Jin presumes, “The only other Asian in my class was Suzy Nakamura. When the class finally figured out that we weren’t related, rumors began to circulate that Suzy and I were arranged to be married on her thirteenth birthday. We avoided each other as much as possible” (Yang 31). Embarrassment clouds Jin as he realizes that he’s not like the other kids in his class. With distinct features and his native tongue, Jin felt like a reject surrounded by his Caucasian classmates. He was entirely alone amongst his peers, and he didn’t like that one single bit. In this way, it’s clear how both Junior and Jin felt like outcasts in these two oceans of white students and teachers.
In the short story, "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan, a Chinese mother and daughter are at odds with each other. The mother pushes her daughter to become a prodigy, while the daughter (like most children with immigrant parents) seeks to find herself in a world that demands her Americanization. This is the theme of the story, conflicting values. In a society that values individuality, the daughter sought to be an individual, while her mother demanded she do what was suggested. This is a conflict within itself. The daughter must deal with an internal and external conflict. Internally, she struggles to find herself. Externally, she struggles with the burden of failing to meet her mother’s expectations. Being a first-generation Asian American,
In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan an American writer, shares her experience growing up with the family where no one speaks perfect English, and how it affected her education and her life. As the second generation of Chinese immigrants, Tan faces more problems than her peers do. Her mother, who speaks limited English needs Tan to be her “Translator” to communicate with the native English speakers. Tan states, “I was ashamed of her English” (2). Her mother is like a burden to her, at least in Tan’s early years. But the cultural conflict she becomes the theme of her writing and it is under this situation she wrote many novels and essays including “Mother Tongue.”
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
On the other hand, Nguyen talks of the language difficulties that she experienced being a Vietnamese in the United States. At first, she is enrolled to a school far from home as it offers bilingual education to help her integrate with the system of learning. She works hard to raise her academic performance with hopes of falling in favor with the teacher. However, as the teacher knows her Vietnamese origin, she manifests her stereotype on Nguyen’s comprehension in literature readings. For instance, while it was her turn to read, the teacher would interrupt her making sentiments such as “you are reading too fast….things she did not do to other students” (Nguyen, 35). She also faces a “school-constructed identity” together with her sister with all sorts of jibes thrown against them. As Vollmer puts it, “such assumptions affect the interpretations made of student behavior and school
The piece describes what she envisioned her time in China would be like; visions of small talk and drinking tea danced in her head (Schmitt 125). This is a bit admirable to a more reserved person because it shows how outgoing she is when diving into a new culture. However, the reality of a language barrier and day to day behavior settled in. A series of uncomfortable exchanges illustrate the challenge of being accepted into a new culture. Described in the essay are people standing around in bath robes and under garments and popping in and out of rooms like some sort of clown
Wong feels that she needs to fit into the dominant culture from an early age. The reason for this is because society stresses the dominate culture, promotes the dominate culture and pressures immigrant children to fit in. Wong uses herself as an example of the tremendous pressure children of immigrants are under to fit in, which is a burden placed on them by society. The pressure is so great that many are embarrassed by their roots and their heritage. Wong experiences this burden, and this is what drives her to want to become the stereotypical All-American girl. She learns to hate her culture so much that she does not want anything to do with it and she wants a divorce from her ethnic roots, “Wong’s adolescent embarrassment of her ethnic
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
Chang-Rae Lee’s Native Speaker expresses prominent themes of language and racial identity. Chang-Rae Lee focuses on the struggles that Asian Americans have to face and endure in American society. He illustrates and shows readers throughout the novel of what it really means to be native of America; that true nativity of a person does not simply entail the fact that they are from a certain place, but rather, the fluency of a language verifies one’s defense of where they are native. What is meant by possessing nativity of America would be one’s citizenship and legality of the country. Native Speaker suggests that if one looks different or has the slightest indication that one should have an accent, they will be viewed not as a native of
It was hard for them to fit into Canadian society but still remain true to their Chinese roots. Sek-Lung’s siblings complain that they don’t want to go to Chinese school, although they don't have a problem learning Latin, French and German in their new school. They said that those languages are scientific languages, and Chinese is not. They want to embrace into the languages of their new home and customs, instead of continuing to learn Chinese languages and traditions. Their father and stepmother are very persistent on the subject of the kids going to Chinese school so that they don't completely dismiss their heritage. They don't want their children to lose their identity, but the children want to create their own new identity in Canada and be accepted into Canadian
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,
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