Tan's experience with the piano underscores the stark contrast between the way her mother believed fame and fortune work in America, and the way she believed they worked. She writes, "Unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be, I could only be me. And for all those years we never talked about the disaster at the recital or my terrible declarations afterward at the piano bench.... So I never found a way to ask her why she had hoped for something so large that failure was inevitable," (Tan). To Tan, the goals associated with the American dream were simply so lofty, and so exaggerated, that assessing blame to the individual for failing to live-up to them was completely unjustified. Still, to the very end -- even though her mother eventually stopped pushing her to become a prodigy -- her mother held the belief…… [Read More]
Reading between the lines it can be understood that one must not be influenced by the pressures of the environment and of the other people.
All in all it can be stated that a major theme in the works of May Tan is represented by the American colonialism taking place in the contemporary world at cultural level. Just as it has been stated in the beginning of the paper, language implies values. Conquering the world through its language, the U.S.A. is managing to export values that would otherwise be impossible to export. What Tan suggests is that behind language there is always an ideology to be transmitted.
Under these circumstances it can be affirmed that she becomes a militant against this type of cultural colonisation. Taking into consideration her biographical development this is easily understandable.
It can be noticed there are parental figures in her novels and her short stories.…… [Read More]
Amy Tan and Jhumpa Lahiri
Both Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" and Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Third and Final Continent" tell stories about the cultural clash between eastern cultures and the western world of the United States. This is not the only point of similarity between these two women or their writing styles. Besides the fact that they were second-generation immigrants, both women had mothers who wished them to hold onto their heritage from the other nation while still accepting the dominant culture of the United States. This would influence their writings, as is indicated by the stories being compared here. Besides the question of cultural clash, the stories also both discuss the different perceptions of society between the generations and how those differing ideas can also cause conflict. Older generation is the embodiment of the old culture and the old ways whereas the younger generation is symbolic of the influence of…… [Read More]
Amy Tan & Family
Response to Amy Tan
I have come to the United States to study and have left my family, my father, mother, and little sister, behind in Indonesia. I only meet my family on summer break now and I miss them terribly. Like Amy Tan I feel my family is with me all the time. It is the thoughts and memories of their caring that gives me the strength I need in order to succeed in this foreign country.
Indonesia is a large country rich in cultural diversity with hundreds of different ethnic groups. Each group has a unique tradition, culture and art. It also is home to a wide variety of languages and dialects. Coming from this country has instilled in me a great respect for diversity; however I miss the culture and comfort of my family constantly. I can easily relate to the thoughts and…… [Read More]
For Amy Tan, however, attempting, for her parents' sake, to become simultaneously Chinese and American, without compromising either culture, or herself, was a tricky balancing act.
As E.D. Huntley adds:
Amy Tan spent her childhood years attempting to understand, as well as to come to terms with and to reconcile, the contradictions between her ethnicity and the dominant estern culture in which she was being raised and educated. She lived the classic minority experience: at home, she was an uneasy Americanized teenager at odds with the expectations of her traditional Chinese parents; at school -- where she frequently was the only
Chinese student in her classes -- she was the Asian outsider....
Amy and her brothers
To the dismay of their parents -- completely embraced the American culture that Dominated their experience outside their home. (Huntley).
The Chinese-American mother-daughter relationship riven by cultural misunderstandings is revisited within Amy Tan's second…… [Read More]
She finds out how it came to be that her mother moved to America and the secret is released that Winnie has been holding her entire life.
Pearl's father, or at least the man she always knew as her father is not her biological father and she realizes through this story that her mother made choices in life that caused her great pain but later found someone who would love Pearl as his own and raise her as such (Tan, 2006).
After hearing her mother's life story Pearl gains a tremendous respect for what her mother has gone through and a renewed sense of appreciation for her own husband and children.
It is interesting to note that through it all her mother holds onto her Chinese heritage and customs. One might think that after all the abuse and sadness that Winnie suffered at the hands of her first husband she…… [Read More]
Therefore, Tan and Tanner both use linguistics to prove a different point.
Even though their arguments differ, both Tan and Tannen refer to the ways women become marked. Although Tan does not use the term "marked," she implies that ethnic background is a type of cultural marking. Ethnicity can be a highly visible marker, leading to prejudices and biases. Tan's mother tongue led to her being labeled and marked just as much as her mother was. Tannen could easily have incorporated Tan's ideas about ethnicity into "Marked omen, Unmarked Men" to discuss ways the dominant culture squelches the voices of both females and minorities. Tan is therefore more concerned with how language impacts personal identity, whereas Tannen is concerned with how language influences social roles. Both authors illustrate the power of language in shaping personal identity and social norms.
Tan, Amy. "Mother Tongue." Retrieved Nov 16, 2007 at…… [Read More]
Pair of Tickets by Amy Tan and the Lady with the Pet Dog written by Anton Checkhov. Basically the paper studies in detail the character development in the two works under discussion. The orks Cited four sources in MLA format.
Introduction to Fiction
An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama by X.J Kennedy and Dana Gioia is a magnum opus and a literary contribution that is one of a kind. This highly informative piece of writing comprises of several student essays, brief author biographies and reflections by the authors pertaining to their self-written works thereby covering a broad range of ideas, topics and literary as well as art forms and styles.
From this masterwork, the paper has selected two short stories titled A Pair of Tickets written by Amy Tan and The Lady with the Pet Dog written by Anton Checkhov for thorough analysis. In the following passages of our…… [Read More]
The imagination and the old standards and emphasis on luck and fate either good or bad drives the narrative account of Pearl's mother in the work, as she navigates through the traditions of the culture of women plotting to alter their own fates and in so doing changing the fate of others. "Tan first presents in the Kitchen God's ife the indigenous informants "innie Louie, Helen (or Hulan), and Grand Auntie Du" in a light as unsavory..."
Ma 18) in one passage of the childhood narrative of her mother this can be seen clearly, when Pearl's mother speaks of losing her luck to Peanut, her coveted cousin, who was supposed to marry a local boy but shirked him off on Pearl's Mother and the marriage was one that greatly challenged her for years;
No I'm not being superstitious. I am only saying that's how it happened. And how…… [Read More]
Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston both compose fiction through the lenses of gender and ethnicity. Both authors use symbolism, imagery, and rhetorical strategies to provide unique insight into Asian American experiences and identity. Likewise, both Tan and Kingston show how gender impacts their self-concept and status within the overarching patriarchal society. Their work can and should be read concurrently to best appreciate the gamut, diversity, and breath of the Asian-American female experience. Although Tan and Kingston naturally have different perspectives based on their own personal experiences and also on their different social and political goals, these two authors share much in common in terms of their elucidation of how racism and patriarchy intersect in American society.
Amy Tan’s most famous work is likely The Joy Luck Club, which focuses on mother-daughter relationships within the Chinese American subculture. The emphasis on mother-daughter relationships stresses the significance of gender to identity…… [Read More]
One is virtually provided with the chance to become 'friends' with the narrators as the respective individual realizes that he or she is being told personal things and that it appears that the story-tellers actually go as far as to consider that they are telling their stories to someone that they have a special relationship with.
Amy Tan is putting across averly's personal feelings to readers as she expresses her understanding of her mother's thinking. "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money" (Tan 132). hen looking at things from the narrator's perspective, it almost feels impossible not to sympathize with averly and not to consider that it would be essential for you, as a reader, to support her by using…… [Read More]
Chapter 3 elucidated clearly on this point, highlighting Weili's tendency to think of a setback once a solution emerges from a problem; these series of setbacks resulted to her inability to decide for herself, for in all of these setbacks, another person's welfare was put into consideration, rather than Weili's own welfare (70-1).
Adams (2003) considered Weili's psyche as a response to her previous past, specifically, when she was raped by Wen Fu in the midst of the Sino-Japanese War. Adams drew an analogy from this event in Weili's life, illustrating how the supposed "Rape of Nanking" was made more concrete and specific to her experience, depicting Wen Fu as the Japanese who invaded Nanking, and Weili epitomizing her fellow Chinese women, who became the direct victims of this historical tragedy (12). Weili's coping mechanism, which is the creation of made-up histories, became her response to the two kinds of…… [Read More]
In the same way that she discovered her father's 'human' character, June also discovered, albeit already too late, how her mother had once shown her vulnerable, desperate side, which happened when she was about to make the hardest decision in her life, and that was to leave her daughters in order to survive the war. This story made June realize that she was lucky that her mother did not leave her, and cherished her as her daughter despite her longing for her other daughters in China. Her guilt for treating her mother unfairly was mirrored in her confession, when she said, " They'll think I'm responsible, that she died because I didn't appreciate her."
This statement has a ring of truth in it: it was indeed possible that her mother was gradually dying inside due to emotional hurt because June never understood and never tried to understand her. Suyuan's frustration…… [Read More]
Through Tan's stunning use of character, however, readers are left to question Waverly's metaphor and her conclusion that her mother is her opposition. One reason for this is Waverly's mother's stunning wisdom. Although she speaks in Asian-flavored broken English, Waverly states that her "mother imparted her daily truths so she could help my older brothers and me rise above our circumstances" (Tan 1). Furthermore, it is clear that Waverly's mother's words were often filled with wisdom. Indeed, Waverly credits the women with imparting to her the rules of chess, the secret for winning chess when her mother taught her "the art of invisible strength," what was "a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others, and eventually…chess games" (Tan 1).
Like the ying and the yang, however, Waverly's mother's positive characteristic of wisdom is balanced by a negative characteristic of pride. The woman is fiercely prideful, demanding that her sons give…… [Read More]
..I ask you, isn't that fate meant to be?" Now, Pearl realizes that Winnie's fatalism is not all negative. That, too, she has not understood about her mother and what keeps her going. Pearl recognizes the strength never left her mother. For the sake of her daughter, she kept on going. Her greatest fault: becoming disillusioned with life. But now, she can perhaps work on those feelings, because she will not be bearing them alone. She will also have Pearl's strength to help her as she becomes older.
As she tells Pearl her life story, Winnie feels so much weight being lifted off her shoulders. She first apologizes for not having told Pearl about how her grandmother abandoned her six-year-old daughter. This has to be the most difficult thing for Winnie to talk about, since she, like Pearl, did not want to admit things to herself that were too hurtful.…… [Read More]
Sadly, it takes her mother's death to bring June really close to her mother, and close to understanding her culture and beliefs. Tan writes, "I found some old Chinese silk dresses, the kind with little slits up the sides. I rubbed the old silk against my skin, then wrapped them in tissue and decided to take them home with me" (Tan 212). She finally begins to understand some of the things that were important to her mother, but it comes too late for her to share her findings with her mother, or to even tell her she understands.
In conclusion, the generational differences and cultural gaps between mothers and daughters in this novel are largely universal and represent the gaps that grow between immigrant families and their children. Often, the children do not identify with or understand their parents' ties to their homeland, and they do not appreciate their heritage…… [Read More]
Conflicts Between Parents and Their Children: Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" and Mark Haddon's the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
e have all had our own squabbles with our parents, but in some cases it is a hard fight standing up against an oppressive parental force and establishing yourself as an individual. Yet, this is exactly what Jing-mei oo and Christopher Boone do. In both Amy Tan's "Two Kinds and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the growing teenage characters are being smothered by their oppressive single parents. Each one of them is being forced to play a role that is not truly meant for them; however, when each of them make a stand against that oppressive parental force, they are truly allowed to come into their own and establish themselves as an adult.
In Amy Tan's short story, "Two Kinds," the essential…… [Read More]
American literature has become much more diverse as authors of different cultures that now in live in the United States write about their heritage or life in this country. One of these authors is Amy Tan.
Both of Tan's parents were Chinese immigrants. One of her first successful books, the Kitchen God's Wife, told of the traumatic early life of her mother, Daisy. She had divorced an abusive husband, had lost custody of her three daughters and was forced to leave them behind when escaping Shanghai before the Communist takeover in 1949. Tan's mother also witnessed Tan's grandmother committing suicide. When Tan's mother reached America, she married John Tan. They had three children, Amy and her two brothers. John Tan had earlier left China when the Chinese evolution became too harrowing (Academy of Achievement).
Tragedy struck when Tan's father and oldest brother both died of brain tumors within a year…… [Read More]
African-Americans, as members of a group who were forcibly migrated to America are not immigrants, and Native Americans are the original inhabitants of this land. But Chinese-Americans such as Amy Tan, although she is a daughter of willing immigrants to America, also experience identity conflicts. In "Half and Half" Amy Tan explicitly identifies her protagonist Rose as feeling half American, half Chinese in a manner that often makes her feel adrift in the world. Part of this passivity, Tan suggests, is Rose's guilt and self-loathing from accidentally letting her brother drown when she was supposed to be watching him. In the midst of a bitter divorce, Rose eventually reconnects emotionally with her mother and resolves to fight for the house she loves. Asserting her right to a physical homeland in America becomes a source of pride for Rose -- her home becomes her homeland in America, and establishes her right…… [Read More]
These girls are not bad, they are just growing up and testing their limits, like all young people do. They rebel because they want to see how far they can push adults, and where the limits are. They also rebel because they are strong and strong willed, and they believe in themselves.
These girls could be sisters, because they are very much alike. The stories end differently, but they both end on a happy note. Squeaky learns how to make friends and respect other people. She thinks, "It's about as real a smile as girls can do for each other, considering we don't practice real smiling every day, you know, cause maybe we too busy being flowers or fairies or strawberries instead or something honest and worthy of respect...you know...like being people" (Bambara). She learns a lesson, and so does Jing-mei, who learns to respect her mother and how her…… [Read More]
Morrison is simply showing how race matters even when we think that it might not. e might think that Maggie's race, whether she was partially white or not, would not amount too much in a bunch of children but it matters a great deal. Labels turn out to be very important even at a young age. Stereotypes begin at young ages and simply continue throughout life. The girls hair and clothing, what they eat, and how the speak are the only clues Morrison gives us into figuring out Roberta's and Twyla's race and these are the only things the two girls can remember about Maggie.
In "Two Kinds," racial differences also arise between Jing-Mei and her mother because Jing-Mei is more American than her mother is. Her mother moved to America and must adopt to a different culture. She admits, "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to…… [Read More]
It is more likely that there will continue to be many varied and constantly changing definitions of the American family, and this will continue to confuse those learning English as they attempt to make concrete connections between words and concepts from their own language and those of the new -- and constantly developing -- culture and language they have adopted.
hen making cultural comparisons, it is important to refrain from qualitative judgments, and I do not mean to imply any here. The Korean concept of the family and its responsibilities is more concrete than the American cultural and linguistic definitions, but this does not necessarily make it better. The American ideals of freedom and self-determination lie at the root of the American family, and lead to very different cultural and linguistic perspectives. It is the difference in vantage point, and not in any perceived difference in quality, that proves a…… [Read More]
In comparing a number of literary elements in one story, Smith and Wiese (2006) contend that at times, when attempting to transform an old story into a modern multicultural version, cultural meanings of the original story may be lost. In turn, the literature does not subject the reader to another culture. For instance, in the story about the fisherman, that Smith and Wiese access, the plot remains similar plot, however, significant changes transform the reported intent to make the story multicultural. Changes included the fisherman's daughter's stated name, being changed from one common to her culture to Maha. Instead of God, as written in the original version, the reference notes "Allah." Other changes Smith and Wiese point out include:
& #8230;The admonition to retrieve the fish or "be sorry" instead of the threatened curse, the reference to the golden shoe as a sandal instead of a clog;
the proposed…… [Read More]
Her story is unusual first because she was such a rebel in her conservative family, and second because her life in China shows how difficult it is to be a woman, even today to an extent, in many foreign countries. She simply was not given the same opportunities as men, and even other Chinese women were. If she had stayed in the States, it would not have been easy, because Chinese-American journalists were not common, either, and then the war broke out, and Asians, especially Japanese, faced heavy persecution in America. However, it is hard to believe that her life would have been as difficult, or as short as it was because of her marriage, and it still seems odd that she threw away her education and her strong desire to succeed for a man.
Flora Belle's story is unique because she was so rebellious at a time when most…… [Read More]
To not fit in is probably one of the most difficult things a child can face, and it happens all the time in America to the children of immigrants. It is easy to talk about "celebrating your heritage," but much more difficult to do when you are a child, and have no friends because of your skin color and your culture. Now, it is easier for me, but there are still barriers in our society, and I know that throughout my life, I will have to fight those barriers to succeed and to grow as a woman, as an American, and as an Asian.
A think, after considering what I have learned in this course, that I would like to research what I do not know about my own family history, and fill in the pieces of the puzzle. Before this class, I did not think much about my family's…… [Read More]
How likely, for instance, would it be that someone would give up a great job or a new life in a new place just to remain home with a child? Instead, the modern woman would find day-care and attempt to balance both.
his theme of balance is another predominant philosophy from Ning. When Ning was younger, she deferred to the wisdom of the elders and the ideas put upon her as a youth -- namely that tradition and destiny are predetermined. It was interesting to chart the manner in which Ning grew emotionally as she aged to realize that she made her own existence, her own present, and her own future. As Ning turned from a victim waiting for a husband to bring home money for food to a working woman serving many families, she found she had to cast out any dependence upon others for her own welfare and…… [Read More]
While America prides herself on her multiculturalism and acceptance of those from all lifestyles and cultures that is not always the case, as the readings and personal experiences clearly indicate.
America has been multicultural or multiethnic for centuries, white Americans still are the majority in most areas, and their ideals, beliefs, and even prejudices dominate all of society. To fit in, immigrants must assimilate to the predominate way of thinking, acting, and feeling, even if it is against their own cultural values and beliefs. Thus, they may actually have to engage in cultural pluralism, or acting one way with their own ethnic members while acting another way in white society. There are numerous examples of this every day in society, such as the encounter the author of "A Different Mirror" had with the cabdriver. onald Takaki's family had probably been in the country longer than the cabdriver's had; yet the…… [Read More]
Independent Life: Leila's Stubborn Family Ties in Ng's Novel Bone
In Bone: A Novel, by Fae Myenne Ng, the Chinese-American protagonist, a recently-married young woman named Leila Louie, oldest of three sisters, is still torn between looking out more for her own interests, or for those of her mother (Mah) and her stepfather (Leon, who is more like her own father). Leila's Chinese-born mother, who owns her own baby store in San Francisco's Chinatown, is separated from Leon (Leila's biological father left his pregnant wife in San Francisco to seek his fortune in Australia, but (despite promises) never returned or sent for them). Leon has moved into an apartment at the "San Fran" for older men, after Leila's younger half-sister Ona (Leon and Mah's first child together) committed suicide. Leila's feelings of responsibility for Mah and Leon have only increased since then, especially since Leila's only remaining sister, Nina, lives…… [Read More]
Tradition is normally used in connection with culture and to keep a culture healthy and alive, it is important to allow traditions to stay alive as well. However traditions that place restrictions on personal, professional, emotional or spiritual growth tend to have a negative impact on entire humankind and must therefore not be followed. hen traditions are not followed, they die a natural death. Bad traditions must not be kept alive either through personal struggle or collective rebellion.
Two Kinds is one story of unproductive traditions that teaches us why some traditions are negative and hence must die. Not all traditions help in keeping a culture alive, some traditions tend to lend bad reputation to a culture and only cause culture degeneration. Two kinds by Amy Tan is one of the most heart-wrenching stories about a girl's difficult relationship with her mother. The sheer transparency of emotions can leave readers…… [Read More]
Oracle Bone and Traditional China
According to ancient writings, the history of China dates back approximately 3,300 years. Studies by modern archaeologists provide evidence of ancient origins in a culture that was flourishing between 2500-2000 B.C. In an area that is now central China and the lower Huang He Valley in northern China. Through centuries of migration, amalgamation and development, a distinctive system of writing, philosophy, art, and political organization came about that is recognized as Chinese civilization, unique to world history because of its continuity of over 4,000 years to today. The Chinese culture has developed a strong sense of their real and mythological origins and from very early times kept voluminous records, resulting in not only knowledge of China's ancient, but of its neighbors as well. As described in mythology, Chinese civilization began with Pangu, the creator of the universe, then according to legend, a succession of sage-emperors…… [Read More]
Jeffrey Paul Chan
In the past couple of decades, literature from cultural groups in the United States such as the African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans have increasingly become more common. It is only recently that Asian-Americans have become popular writers. With expected population changes, decidedly this literature will become more widespread. According to the U.S. Census, Asian is the fastest growing racial group in the United States. Since 1980, the Asian population has almost tripled. It is expected to increase 213% over the next 50 years. It will be essential for Asian non-fiction and fiction works to be read by students and adults alike to better understand this growing American population.
Writers such as Frank Chin, Jeffery Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada and Shawn Wong, who first co-edited Aiiieeeee!: An Anthology of Chinese-American and Japanese-American Literature in the 1970s, believe that most of the literature and films on Asian-Americans to…… [Read More]
Through her mother's story, Pearl learns why her mother acts as she does. She also learns what an amazing woman she is and how proud she is to have her as a mother. Most important, she realizes that the time has indeed come to break her silence and tell Winnie about her MS. Pearl's admission gives Winnie the opportunity to once again help her daughter, but this time they will do it together as mother and daughter not as adversaries.
In the book's last scene, Winnie gives Pearl a statue for the little red altar temple from Grand Auntie Du. The statue represents the once-silent and forgiving Kitchen God's Wife, a woman whom Winnie explains will protect women who are learning to break their silences.
Pearl finally weeps, not only because of her mother's gift but because she can now cry for her father. Winnie tells Pearl to unburden her…… [Read More]
Women throughout Chinese history have experienced the oppression their tradition and culture exert as well as the power only members of their sex can attain in their chosen domains. Although readers have been exposed to historical anecdotes relating foot binding and Man's superiority to women, there are also many stories relating their freedom and tenacity, whether they are wives, concubines, courtesans or prostitutes. The history of Chinese women is not necessarily limited to persecution and being dominated, it is also peppered with inspirational stories of women who have been able to find happiness, success and fulfillment within the parameters Chinese tradition and culture dictate.
In Chinese society, the positions women maintained were very indistinct (http://www.wm.edu/CAS/anthropology/faculty/hamada/Virtual_Classromm/wwwb.../208.htm,1)."In Chinese society, women as a category had a dependent status." (Watson, 1991, 232). efore a girl married, she was controlled completely by her father. After she married, this responsibility was transferred to her husband. If…… [Read More]
A large range of the academic literature centering on the sociological as well as the cultural and linguistic properties of nicknaming can be found. This literature mostly focuses on only sociological and/or cultural properties and/or the linguistic properties but mostly with varying working definitions of the term nickname. For example, some researchers (e.g., Slater and Feinman 1985) notice the structural and sociological commonalities among both the formal and the nicknames whereas, according to some (e.g., Alford 1988) only the descriptive forms are the nicknames. The definition of the term nickname used in this paper may overlap with some of the categories however; there should be no surprise at the commonalities found between the informal and the formal names. As Pulgram (1954, 11-14) has said; the nicknames are the antecedents of many formal names.
Social meaning of nicknaming
The social meaning and function a nickname basically depends on the society…… [Read More]
Throughout the analysis she makes, the author reaches several conclusions on both these aspects; on the one hand, she considers the discussion from the academic point-of-view; on the other hand, she follows the aim of her theoretical research and concludes on the idea of the representativeness of the body in online communication.
On the one hand, in regard to the technicalities of online communication, from the analysis conducted to the lines of the messages and responses to posts, she concludes that there is indeed distinctiveness in the way in which people communicate online vs. face-to-face communication. More precisely, in the first situation they are more willing to talk about the issues otherwise would be reluctant to address such as for instance body fat or the way in which society treats overweight people. Also, the techniques used to maintain the flow of conversation are different from those used in face-to-face conversations,…… [Read More]
She is literally locked in the house and it becomes her "protector" of sorts. It is as real as a character because it is has a type of power over Louise. She can never leave it. After hearing the news of Brently, Louise runs up to her room and "would have no one follow her" (635). The room takes on a persona as it becomes the one thing with which Louise shares her secret of freedom. Here, she can relish in the thought of being free without worrying about the disapproval of others. Here, she can express the excitement she feels when she looks outside and considers freedom as something within her grasp. This is the only place that knows her true heart and it is the only place in which she has few minutes to taste the freedom she desires. The room envelops her and allows her to this…… [Read More]
And, if one flees historical reality, then, is it not futile in that eventually it will catch up with us? As a "guest" of this world, then, what is the basic responsibility we have towards humanity? Daru chooses an isolated and ascetic life -- he flees society, but society catches up with him, and it is his decision that allows him to become -- more human. Of true importance in this work is that the original title in French, L'hote means two things -- the guest, or the host. Thus, the title refers to the struggle of both the prisoner and the schoolmaster; giving the reader a moral guide that is less than logical, but historically practical (Camus, 2000).
Gimpel the Fool is a Yiddish tale set down by Isaac Singer, and translated into English in 1953. In essence, it is representative of much of the Judaic culture -- the…… [Read More]
This shows up most poignantly in her relationship with her granddaughter, the "mixed" child who causes the comment at the start of the story and who basically drives the plot of the story forward. The narrator has difficulty understanding her granddaughter Sophie's behavior, but only partially blames this on the way she is raised. Instead, the grandmother sees this mainly as a function of Sophie's mixed ethnic identity, saying that by the age of three "already I see her nice Chinese side swallowed up by her wild Shea side." The narrator tends to associate everything negative about her daughter and granddaughter with the Irish and American influences, while claiming that if they acted more Chinese things would get better. This shows that racism is not an issue related solely to this country, but that -- ironically -- it is actually a universal aspect of all cultures; a commonality that all…… [Read More]
Language & Community
How Language Circumscribes the World and Defines Community
The famous philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote, "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." Wittgenstein used his language to make this profound statement packed with a depth of meaning. Language, whether it is written language, spoken language, body language or sign language, is a fundamental aspect to the human condition. Language permits us to communicate with others, which is also a vital part of being human. Language also makes possible thought, speech, and writing. Without language, it would be exceedingly difficult for people to have relationships. Language comes in various forms and in huge varieties. Language additionally is a critical and prominent aspect to the definition of a culture. Every culture and subculture has characteristics that distinguish it as such; language is a characteristic at the forefront of defining or circumscribing cultures and communities. This paper…… [Read More]