Change In The Essays Of Maxine Hong Kingston, Cornell West, And Kofi Annan

1034 words - 4 pages

The weather, the news, the morning commute, the stock exchange, all change on a daily basis, but people don’t get all flustered about them compared to the changes in politics, country affairs, culture, and society which become overwhelming and shocking to people. The overwhelming transformations that people cannot stop are believed to have a negative effect on their way of life. People are so content with the way they are living that they do not want this adjustment to happen, even though it will come eventually. Throughout the three essays by Maxine Hong Kingston, Cornell West, and Kofi Annan, there is a positive and a negative change that is projected throughout the writing.
Cultures are seen as behaviors and beliefs of social ethnic or age groups, these change overtime, and the people involved with the change can become stubborn and scared. Kingston’s “No Name Woman” illustrates how change towards a culture can make a mother tell an extreme story, so her daughter would not bring embarrassment to their family. “What happened to her could happen to you” ending such an extreme story brings serious anxieties about alterations to a girl who has begun her menstruation. An affair could cripple a family’s name and this was the way her mother could change her daughter’s way of reasoning. In the Chinese culture when crops don’t grow or there is no work for people they come up with the excuse that the spirits are angry with them. They used the aunt as a scapegoat “She cursed the year, the family, the village, and herself” when their village became struck with bad crops and no work. The culture of this Chinese village forced a young woman to take her and her child’s life because she was blamed for their misfortune. The daughter cannot talk to her father about her disowned aunt, as she stated “this would do my father mysterious harm” because in their culture she is being punished for her affair that leads to her taking her and her child’s life. The actions the aunt took to end her life lead the family to not speak her name, because she is being punished in the afterlife as well and God forbid they change anything that deals with death in their culture. Kingston writes about her aunt in this essay and believes she might be modifying the culture because in some way she is honoring her aunt by writing about her. The culture of the Chinese is extraordinary for the fact it rarely changes but when a minuscule event happens, it can create an assortment of issues.
West’s “The Moral Obligation of Living in a Democratic Society” essay is asking for people to understand what is needed for changes for people to better themselves. History is created by changes large and small, for the African-American society there were significant people who sacrificed themselves for a superior change. Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King JR, “Their standards of vision and courage” knew what they were doing, they understood that there...

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