The personal narrative “Born in Amrika” (2003) by Mona M. Maisami speculates that children of Iranian originated parents struggle between culturally identifying themselves as American or Iranian. Maisami develops her main idea by narrating through the point of view of a young girl born in America interacting with her Iranian born cousin Nina. Throughout the story, Nina and her cousin encounter various differing cultural phenomena such as dress and meal rituals before realizing they can adapt to both cultures at the same time. This short story highlights these two different lifestyles in order to emphasize the way American citizens with overseas connections question their character because of their newly adopted home. In hopes to reach out to
Zitkala-Sa’s autobiography informs her readers of the damaging and traumatizing effects of assimilation by utilizing her life experiences as a narrative, demonstrating how living under an oppressive and dominant culture was an internal struggle between society's expectations and her own cultural identity. Sa’s experience is especially unique considering her mixed heritage as well.
In the story “Dead Man Laughing”, Zadie Smith (December 22, 2008) shares an emotional and significant aspect of her life, through the use of comedy. Additionally, Smith successfully conveyed to the reader the great impact that comedy has had on her, and why she determined to use humor as a way to relate to her father.
Many ethnic groups have the fear that their children will lose their culture. Many countries have the fear that the immigrants will destroy their country. White Teeth reminds me of the book The Latino Threat by Leo Chavez that wrote about how the Latinos are a threat to the United States but at the end Latinos actually assimilate to the country and its culture. The more a person assimilated to the culture of others the most prosperous the person is, studies have showed. Samad and Alsana are are afraid their children will assimilate to the english culture and have different religious beliefs. Samad sends one of his sons back to his home country so he can live in a religious based community. Samad does not want his children to do mistakes as
You rarely hear of a situation in which an immigrant is welcomed into a new country and makes an easy and happy life there. The American Dream most people look for is very difficult to reach. There are many things you have to go through and many stages of life you will be held back on but there are some people who change the views of this and push through. Garnette Cadogan was a walker, but little did he know his walking would change the way people saw him and the same goes for Older, he didn’t know his letter to his wife would relate so closely to the way other people lived. In “Black and Blue”, Cadogan discusses his life as an immigrant. When Cadogan moved to the United States, he realized that being a different color made the people around you automatically fear you. While attending college in the US Cadogan completely changed the way he acted around the police and other people. In “This Far: Notes on Love and Revolution” author, Daniel Older writes a letter to his wife explaining why she should not fear moving to a new place and bringing a child of color into the world. In both “Black and Blue” and “This Far: Notes on Love and Revolution” the authors Older and Cadogan tell us about their fears of moving to a new place. Not just because of their race, but because of how limited their growth could be due to moving to a new country.
The election of Barack Obama as the 56th president of the United States raised many hopes that the “Black struggles” was finally over. For conservatives, Obama victory reassured their beliefs that there was no longer such thing as racism and that every American had equal rights and opportunity to pursue the American dream. While many people have come to believe that all races have equal rights in America, Tim Wise argues in his documentary “White Like Me” that not only does racism and unconscious racial bias still exist, but that also White Americans are unable to simply relate to the variety of forms racism and inequality Blacks experience. This is mainly because of the privileges they get as the “default.” While Wise explores the variety forms of racism and inequality today such as unconscious racism, Black poverty, unemployment, inadequate education system, and prison system, the articles by the New York Times Editorial Board, the Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Adam Liptak further explore some the disparities in the criminal justice system. Ana Swanson points out in her article, “The Stubborn Persistence of Black-White Inequality, 50 Years after Selma” that while the “U.S. has made big strides towards equal rights,” significant gaps still remains between the two races. With the Supreme Court striking down a “portion of the Voting Rights Act that stopped discriminatory voting laws from going into effect in areas of the country with histories of disenfranchisement,” civil
Immigrants arriving in America for their first time are initially devastated at their new lives and realize their “golden lives” were simply fantasies and dreams of an ideal life in America. Immigrants from foreign countries, including those mentioned in Uchida’s Picture Bride, faced countless problems and hardships, including a sense of disillusionment and disappointment. Furthermore, immigrants and picture brides faced racial discrimination not only from white men, but the United States government, as well. Immigrants were plagued with economic hardships lived in deplorable living conditions. Though nearly every immigrant and picture bride who came to America fantasized about an ideal life, they were faced with countless hardships and
The teenage years and transition to adulthood is in itself a very difficult period. Blending or fitting in are omnipresent issues that must be dealt with. For children of immigrants, this difficulty is only intensified through language. Both Amy Tan and Khang Nguyen strategically use narrative anecdotes and employ several rhetorical devices to illustrate this struggle in their works, “Mother Tongue” and “The Happy Days,” respectfully. Amy Tan chooses her childhood home as the primary setting of her work. This allows her to focus primarily on her conversations and interactions with her mother. However, she also gives several anecdotes in which her mother’s background and improper English negatively affected her, outside the home. Through
Many second generation minorities from immigrant parents are driven subconsciously to conform to new culture and social norms. For foreign born parents and native born children integrating the two cultures they inhabit brings about different obstacles and experiences. In Jhumpa’s “The Namesake” the protagonist Gogol is a native born American with foreign born parents. The difference with birth location plays an important role in assimilating to a new society in a new geography. The difficulty for parents is the fact that they’ve spent a decent amount of time accustomed to a new geography, language, culture and society which makes it difficult to feel comfortable when all of that changes. For Gogol the difficulty only lies with the cultural norms imposed by his parent’s and the culture and social norms that are constantly presented in the new society.
“In 2009, 33 million people in the United States were second generation immigrants, representing 11% of the national population. The children of such immigrants in the U.S., also known as "second generation immigrants," experience a cultural conflict between that of their parents and that of mainstream U.S. society” (Wikipedia 1). Amy Tan the author of “Two Kinds”, and the young character in the story both are a second generation immigrants, who have struggled in their life with parents, about the culture they assimilating and their real culture.
Even though Fahm’s family did assimilate into the American lifestyle, her parents suffered from losing almost everything they had in their Mien lifestyle. As an American, I thought that because we are the land of opportunity and are mostly accepting of all cultures that it would be difficult to suffer so much after immigrating here, but Fahm’s father's story exemplified the reality that not all people thrive after coming
How can art bring bodies and stories systematically erased from history to light? I feel the best way to do this is to go about it how Nona Faustine did, that being go to places where the most terrible atrocities that have been forgotten happened and bring them back into the light. In her series White Shoes in 2013. She took to the streets of New York to bring to light the societal and racial injustice that took place in New York during slavery. (Unit 4 Lecture) One of her key photos is a photo of her standing on a box in the middle of an intersection in New York. That being the heart of the financial district home to Wall Street between Water and Pearl Streets. (Unit 4 Lecture) What she was trying to bring to light is that there stood the
Zadie Smith’s novel, White Teeth, is chock full of potential deconstruction ideas; however, an exciting scene to deconstruct is in “The Final Space” chapter when the Iqbals and the Jones are on the public bus heading towards the FutureMouse exhibit. The most obvious binary opposite is that of parent or adult and child. Adults are without doubt the privileged binary. They signify knowledge, wisdom, teaching, and training of young ones along with patience and selflessness, and are allowed to use bad words without penalty. They have all the answers. Children signify selfishness, constant bickering, needing to be taught to not interrupt, to share, to play nicely with others, and are always contrary. In
Aunty Uju, who is burdened with task of getting a job and raising a son alone, feels the need to change her personality, mentality, and appearance for a smoother immigrant experience; but Adichie highlights the abandonment of identity resulting from
1. Samad’s great-grandfather, Mangal Pande was the first of the sepoys in the Bengal army to fire a shot at a British soldier setting off a revolt against the British. However, the circumstances of the events that unfolded are greatly debated as to whether he was drunk when he shot the soldier and so on (209). However, for Samad, Pande represents an unsung hero of eastern culture, preserving the culture of Bengal from the British (215). Samad also views Pande as a name that he must live up to; Pande had a mark on history and so Samad felt that he had to do his best to live to the name and be successful in the military (76/77).