Identity: An Analysis On Language In Natalie Dias Lorenzi’s Flying The Dragon

1221 words - 5 pages

1CatybKirstin CatybProf. MalieckalEN 105Essay 1Identity: An Analysis on Language in Natalie Dias Lorenzi's Flying the DragonHiroshi and Skye were just two average teens. Both were attending school and exploring their interests. Skye had just made the cut on her town's All-Star soccer team, and Hiroshi was busy planning for a kite flying competition with his grandfather. Even though Hiroshi and Skye were cousins, they had never met. This was because Hiroshi and his family lived in a small village in Japan, while Skye and her family lived in Washington D.C. After Hiroshi's family found that grandfather was sick, they set off for America in hope of receiving the best medical care possible. This was also a good opportunity for the whole family to come together again, after a "falling out" separated them years ago. Hiroshi now had to adapt to this new way of life, and needed to learn a new way to communicate with the people around him. Lorenzi's Flying the Dragon revealed how essential language is when portraying one's identity.Language reflects a person's culture. In the reading, it is very clear to see the difference between English and Japanese language. When Hiroshi speaks Japanese, he is very formal. For example, Hiroshi addresses his family members by "First Uncle" and "Grandfather". An English speaker would normally address them as "Uncle Ken" or "Grampa" which is much more relaxed and informal. Hiroshi and Skye likewise address their teachers differently. In Japan, the polite way for Hiroshi to address his teacher would simply be "Teacher" where as in America Skye addresses her teacher as "Mrs. Garcia". Also, in Japan you are not supposed to look at an elder directly in the eyes, but in America it is seen as rude if you do not make direct eye contact. Looking away from the person you are speaking to makes the person think you are not engaged in the conversation at hand. There is also a reflection of culture when Americans recite the Pledge of Allegiance. On Hiroshi's first day of school in America, he became confused when the students stood and started reciting the words. This experience caused him to feel like an outsider. Language in a way categorizes people. People can point out what part of the world you are from simply by an accent or dialect. Someone can usually tell if a person is from Boston if they are not pronouncing the letter "r".Having a language barrier can be extremely detrimental to a person's life. Without being able to communicate, a person can feel isolated from the world. They may become lonely due to the fact that they can't interact with other people. What is even worse is that a person could fall into depression. Hiroshi deals with this language barrier when he arrives in America. Hiroshi first experiences these barriers in school. Hiroshi is both confused and embarrassed when he cannot understand the lunch lady when she tells him he doesn't have enough money for lunch. Later, while in his special class learning English,...

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