Asdf Asdf Essay

1149 words - 5 pages

Garcia Girls and Elizabeth Wong
The Statue of Liberty is an American icon because it symbolizes freedom, success, and the power of this nation. This image is what the U.S stands for to the outside world. Foreigners strive to move to America because of its wealth and acceptance towards all races and ethnicity. “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” recounts the story of how Carlos Garcia, Laura Garcia, and their four girls move from the Dominican Republic to the United States to escape a dictatorship, and establish a new life in flourishing New York City. Many unexpected culture shocks await them in their new country. Although the girls find it difficult to adapt at first, they soon begin to assimilate and Americanize. On the other hand, “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl” by Elizabeth Wong illustrates the life of an Asian American having to embrace two entirely different cultural identities. Both the Garcia family and Elizabeth Wong's family have to deal with two opposing cultures without losing too much of their heritage. The book and the essay are similar in that characters in each story lose much of their original tradition. However, they are different in that the families move to the states for distinctive reasons, and the cultural preference of “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl” is more evident than that of “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”.
One striking similarity in the writings is that all characters lose their heritage over time. In “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl”, Elizabeth was forced to attend Chinese school by her mother to retain her Chinese heritage and to speak proficient Chinese. However, she hated the Chinese School and strongly preferred speaking English over Chinese. She viewed Chinese as a “source of embarrassment” and thought that it sounded like gibberish because “It was quick, it was loud, it was unbeautiful.” After attending Chinese school for two years, she left the school, thus ending her Chinese education. Although she referred to herself as multicultural, her preference for the American way was clearly stated, as she “preferred tacos to egg rolls” and “enjoyed Cinco de Mayo more than Chinese New Year.” In “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”, Yolanda is unable to retain some of her Spanish in the beginning of the novel, forgetting what the term antojo means. Another case of the Garcia sisters losing their heritage is when Yolanda writes a speech quoting from Walt Whitman's poems, incorporating slightly pretentious lines such as “I celebrate myself”, and “The best students learns to destroy the teacher. This greatly infuriated Carlos, as these kind of lines will have sounded incredibly arrogant when spoken in the Dominican Republic. However, in the States, where there is more concentration on individualism, Yolanda sees nothing wrong with the poem and believes that Carlos is unreasonable for losing his temper. This portrays the Americanization of Yolanda, as her American...

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