In The American Society Essay

675 words - 3 pages

?In the American Society? The story ?In the American Society? deals with the struggles of the Chang family fitting in with American society. The author, Gish Jen, depicts an unequal American society with extremes in affluence and poverty, making it impossible to fit in. She uses specific events in which the characters undergo in order to convey her meaning to the reader of how the ?American Dream? is not for everyone.?In the American Society? tells the story of an Asian family who having bought a restaurant and making a good living, try to fit in to their new environment. It can be seen from the beginning that the family is trying to become more Americanized and how they are slowly changing to become average Americans. The mother obtains new ideas and opinions about herself and America and starts showing interest in things she never has before, such as espadrilles, ...view middle of the document...

The mother is slowly trying to convert him to the new lifestyle by reminding him that this is the U-S-of-A, dressing him up in suits, and taking him to social gatherings. At the party, the father is humiliated and he finally gets to a point where he just cannot take being something that he is not. He makes a stand for himself and his family showing that they will not put up with anything because they are different, ultimately saying that being ?typical Americans? is not for them.The characters of Booker and Cedric represent how the American society is not equal, how there is a social hierarchy in which the lower class will continue to forever work and never achieve new standings just as in the Greek myth how Sisyphus continued to roll a rock up a hill but it always seemed to roll back down. Booker came to the pancake house requesting for a position there, stating that he wasn?t a legitimate worker, but that he needed to work and was willing to do anything he was asked. He was hired and turned out to be a model worker ?whose boundless gratitude translated into a willingness to do anything.? Whenever Booker was sick, he would always a send a friend to take his place, and this is where the reader first sees Cedric. He was hired due to his working ability and the both of them together worked hard and diligently. Fernando, the head cook, couldn?t stand Cedric and eventually ended up punching him in his face, instantly getting fired from the job. Out of spite, Fernando called the police reporting of the illegal immigrants, getting Booker and Cedric put in jail. Booker and Cedric symbolize the lower class and how their enthusiasm of working is rewarded by suppression from the upper classes, represented in the story by the character Fernando.Gish Jen helps develop the meaning of the work through her characters and the events that they experience throughout the story. She successfully relates the story about one particular family to the entire American society, stating that the American society as a whole is overall imbalanced.

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