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Paper Topic:

BRIDGING THE CULTURE

BRIDGING THE CULTURE

Summary : The Good Daughter by Caroline Hwang

The essay is about the reflections of the author , Caroline Hwang about her identity and dual culture as an American and her ethnicity as a daughter of Korean immigrants

She started her anecdote with her trip to the dry cleaning store wherein she met a woman who is also of Korean ethnicity . She tried to identify herself as a fellow American-Korean by doing some customary Korean greeting through a slight bow of her head . Failing to get recognition through this , she

introduced herself hoping her surname would produce the intended effect of interest and recognition . This too failed because she was unable to pronounce her name right - which in traditional Korean would sound something like Fxuang

This failure to identify herself to a fellow American-Korean triggered a series of flashback and reflections on her identity as an individual that has to contend with two cultures . These two cultures presented her with a lot of opportunities for growth but it also made her feel that she is not fully assimilated or accepted ' in either one . During these reflections , she recalled the brief history of how her parents came to America two years before she was born . Upon her birth , she has come to be the embodiment of her parent 's aspirations and dreams . What she does with her future bears heavily on her shoulders because she felt torn between being herself ' and doing the things she wanted to do and her parents ' expectations of what she should do . A direct manifestation of this is her choice of major upon entering college . Her parents wanted her to be a lawyer whereas she wanted to be a writer The plight of the first generation children of immigrants were also fully captured with her statement

I identify with Americans , but Americans do not identify with me

With the above statement , she has summarized in a single statement a lingering dilemma and sentiment of most immigrants irregardless of race or color . Dark colored immigrants have a harder time fully assimilating into American society and getting lost ' in a crowd . Somehow , people of color - whether yellow , brown or black , cannot seem to fully blend in a still predominantly white ' society

Caroline also went further by disclosing the internal conflict which plagued her parents while raising her . She felt the conflict when they would try to raise her in a democratic and liberal American society while constantly reminding her to be true to her Korean heritage . The values of these two cultures are sometimes complementary , but they could also be so contrasting and different . A specific example of this is her love life . Somehow , Caroline took it upon herself to just mingle with acceptable ' choices like other Korean-American men . She had never even tried to venture or attempt to have a love life outside the Korean-American community because she knew this would be unacceptable to her parents . She knew deep inside that her parents expect her to...

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