The Meaning Of Being Chinese And Chinese Immigrants

Decent Essays

Immigration brings uncertainty, tensions between the past and present, and alterations in identity due to acculturation as shown through Leon and other characters in Bone. In the psychological study, “The Meaning of ‘Being Chinese’ and ‘Being American’: Variation among Chinese American Young Adults,” the correlation between the Chinese immigrating to the United States abridging Chinese and American cultures varied based on their age of immigration and the duration of their time in the United States, demonstrating that immigration provides a multifaceted experience for each individual. Chinese immigrants who immigrated over the age of twelve, like Mah and Leon, present an anchored identity as Chinese, but have to adapt through consciously engaging in American culture to survive. Leon distances himself from his frustrations of living in America by going out to sea, evading Chinatown- a reminder of Ona’s death-, and by distracting himself in project inventions without any intentions of completing them. Then, Mah immerses herself in work and relationships, including her affair with Tommie Ham and her over involvement in her daughters’ lives. Chinese immigrants who immigrated under the age of twelve, like Leila, are placed in the position of mediating between Chinese and American cultures; they experience less certainty on which culture to identify with and often have to consciously act to become a part of either. In her conversation with Nina, Leila reflects on how Nina’s tour

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