American Chitra Bajerjee Divakaruni and Essay
Excerpt from Essay :
The characters in the poem are enjoying an Indian movie with a simple plot that makes them cry and feel good among themselves although for as long as the film was running, they have returned to their Indian identity completely loosing their American features.
The two authors share the same revelation that came later in life and made them write the two respective literature pieces. but, while Divakaruni is writing in a manner that presents things in the light of a lightly self mockery, although the topic remains as serious as possible, Liu describes what appears to be a crisis. Despite of his life achievements, he places himself among those who needs to find the contact with reality by going back to his roots, but is not capable to do it anymore. The second generation Chinese-American boy cannot be both Chinese and American, but at the end of his writing, he comes to realize that he could still have a chance of being something new, the expression of a new generation with immigrant parents, yellow skin and white on the inside, dedicated to his country, the United States, but also aware of his Chinese roots and willing to use them in his best interest, but also in that of the larger Asian community that expended exponentially in America during the last dozens of years. At a later point of his adult life, the Chinese-American discovered that he was a slave to his own drive to shed a stereotype only in order to become a subject to another one and wishes he found a way to escape this vicious circle.
On the other hand, the young Indian-Americans who are watching the Indian movie at a movie theatre in New Jersey, although in touch with their origin culture and country,
are also slaves to a different kind of life commitment. The culture of their parents made them easy pray to the stories depicted on the big screen and their songs. The heroes, the goddesses and gods presented there, the fantasies and the dreams that become true and always end with a happy ending, all of those are means of keeping the poor as well as the rich, the intellectuals as well as the less well educated prisoners of a fantasy world that has nothing in common with reality. In the end, the author alludes to the two film empires from the two continents, Bollywood and Hollywood as being the producers of the same malnourishment when used as an exclusive alternative to reality.
Regardless if in poetry of prose, in a self mocking tone or as earnestly as possible, the two authors write about a challenge the Western world faces when confronted with the immigrants who arethe new waves of immigrants who add to the already existing world of whites who may some day pass on the side of the minority. The process of integration or assimilation has tremendously changed during the last few decades, but the Western world, even a country built on the very principles of liberty for everyone and diversity like the United States, has to figure out ways to fit into the world of those who are desperately trying to become Americans despite their skin color or mother culture. They will soon find out that they should be proud to live on American soil and become Americans precisely because they have different roots, but are moved by the same ideals and principles set forth by all those who helped build this country, all of them immigrants…
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