The Cultural Clash Of The American Educational System

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Immigrants into the United States often perceive education as the principal method for their children to attain a better life than they have been able to provide for them. The immigrants have dreams and hopes of their children becoming successful and working in better conditions that they had to endure in order to survive. However for the children, accomplishing the immense dreams their parents hold for them can be challenging. While striving to obtain an education, the children face many cultural clashes because the ideas they learn while in school or the process of attaining the education goes against many of the cultural or family values they have been raised with. This is an issue that is iterated in many texts by Latina writers…show more content…
In The Latin Deli, Ortiz-Cofer employs the use of fictional stories to present the two different experiences of cultural struggle caused by education. In the first short story “American History”, the character puts her education in front of her family, which created a distance between her and her mother causing a cultural conflict. Her mother wanted her to mourn and attend a church service with her that night in honor of President Kennedy, who was seen as a champion for immigrants, but she declined because she had to study for a test. Her education puts a physical and emotional barrier between her and her mother; as her mother tried to embrace her, “her books were in the way”, stopping the embrace in its tracks. Her mother was hurt emotionally by her words and the physical distance between them that she spat out “you are forgetting who you are” (page 13). Her mother felt that because she decided to put her education ahead of being with her family that night, and by creating the emotional and physical barrier, she would be denying a part of who she was. In the story “Advanced Biology” Ortiz-Cofer again highlights the cultural struggle the main character undergoes as she attains an education. This time, education was causing her to drift away from her faith, which was an integral part of her
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