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209 Essay 1 in out

209 Essay 1 in out - 1 In the essay Child of Two Worlds Lam...

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In the essay “Child of Two Worlds,” Lam describes what was “Inside” and “Outside” for him as a child. Based on your reading so far, do you think Lam is still able to exist/move between two worlds as an adult? Give evidence from the readings to support your opinion. Living in Two Different Worlds Can an individual dwell in two worlds simultaneously? Prior to reading Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora , I would never have believed an individual could live in both worlds at the same time. Perfume Dreams is a collection of essays by the renowned Vietnamese journalist Andrew Lam, a refugee who came to the United States in 1975, after the fall of Saigon. Lam shows the reader two sides of his life that he dubs his “Inside” and “Outside” worlds. The “Inside” world is home where nostalgia of the past binds him along with strong Vietnamese customs. The “Outside” world by contrast is where Lam is free and open at school and other places that are not part of the Vietnamese community. The past is always part of Lam and the significant events that occur in his life influence him deeply; therefore, in my opinion, he still lives in both worlds. The environments of Lam’s two worlds make him travel in between them. As a child living with two refugee families, all of the household conversations revolved around Vietnam. There, in the cramped quarters nostalgia ruled, his former heroic father drank, stared blankly at the television set, and told and retold war stories in a vain attempt to regain his former glory. Lam’s mother constantly grieved the loss and plights of relatives still in Vietnam (p.6). I think this was very depressing for Lam, to see the individuals he looked up to guide him, merely throw in the towel. Lam remembers how 1
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