AsianLitPaper

AsianLitPaper - Adam Berke Prof. Yunte Huang English 134 AA...

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Adam Berke Prof. Yunte Huang English 134 AA 7/20/10 No Home Sweet Home Awkward glances and puzzled faces are nothing out of the ordinary when friends introduce me to their family members. The questioning expression on their faces has nothing to do with the clothes I wear or the way I speak, but rather the tan color of my skin, the shape of my eyes and nose, and the amount of facial hair unshaved and exposed on that day. Much like the characters in John Yau’s, “A Little Memento From The Boys,” or Wayne Wang’s, “Chan is Missing,” I find myself at odds with the society I grew up and live in because of my inability to define myself into a particular race or ethnic group. Everyone ranging from my peers to my teachers often ask me what ethnicity I am, and my response of being Filipino and Jewish often raises even more questions primarily because it is a fairly uncommon mix, and secondly because many people do not consider being Jewish a race, which sparks an entirely new debate. Ultimately, the personal connection between myself and the characters in Yau’s and Wang’s works, propel me to discuss one of this class’s themes of what it means to grow up and live in America as an ethnic minority by examining what struggles the various authors write about and what it truly means to be an American when your physical appearance influences others to think otherwise. This paper attempts to dissect and examine the various aspects of growing up and living as an Asian American in a country that although was founded by immigrants, is not always so kind to its newcomers. While taking a closer look and analyzing some of the works discussed in
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class, and without making too many rash generalizations this paper attempts to investigate the concepts brought up by writers such as John Yau and Wayne Wang, as well as the unknown Chinese immigrants who left poems on the walls in Angel Island, and ultimately illustrate how each of their struggles share common bonds and relate to one another despite being created decades apart. Beginning with the oldest of the available works discussed in class, the Angel Island Poems, present perhaps the saddest evidence of the hardships faced by Chinese immigrants coming to America. Angel Island is located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay and between 1910 and 1940 was used as a detention center where incoming Chinese immigrants were kept for weeks and months at a time, and after lengthy questionings were either allowed to enter the United States or sent back to China as a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act (Barde and Bobonis,
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This note was uploaded on 08/27/2011 for the course ENGL 134AA taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '10 term at UCSB.

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AsianLitPaper - Adam Berke Prof. Yunte Huang English 134 AA...

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