Simple Is Gold For The Chinese People In "Golden Mountain"

832 words - 4 pages

Keeping things simple in “Golden Mountain”, also known as Canada, is extremely important for most of the Chinese people who came to Canada. In my opinion, it is important to them for three main reasons. First, they need to ensure that their paper histories are original in the eye of Canada’s immigration officers. Second, they only say those things that are necessary so Canadians can understand them. Lastly, they do not want to forget their origins by not assimilating too much into Western culture. Hence, it is important for Chinese immigrants who came to Canada to keep things simple and we need to discuss this further to know more deeply about why it is important to be simple in Canada.
First of all, the Chinese people who came to Canada are keeping things simple because they want to defend the authenticity of the origins of their paper work as well as their real history. I believe that most of their paper work are false and they are struggling to keep it real when they are dealing with Canada’s immigration officers. Chinese immigrants always profess to others that their false paper work are their real history to avoid being deported back to China. In the book, Choy mentions, “[o]nly paper histories remained, histories blended with talk story”(Choy 51). Furthermore, they do not want to recall their dark pasts by making up stories and telling others that its their real past. Not everyone in the Chinatown is aware of everyone’s “real” histories which is so dark, depressing, and maybe even more worse than Poh-Poh’s, who used to be a servant and worked for the rich Chin family. For example, it is stated in the novel that “[e]veryone knew everyone’s daily business, but not always everyone’s past.”(Choy 61). I believe that most Chinese immigrants are keeping everything simple in their lives in order to cover up their false paper work or their real past.
Secondly, the Chinese people of Vancouver’s Chinatown are only saying what is necessary if they are asked about specific elements of their past by white people. They are only revealing information that is necessary in order to avoid being marginalized even further by Canadians. It can be seen in the novel that old timers like Wong Kimlein only say a little about themselves when someone asks him about his past : “What was it like when you were a little boy?” He roared with laughter or sighed...

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