The Languagelessness of Immigrants

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Ivychen
Words 1232
Pages 5
The Languagelessness of Immigrants

Ivy
Dr. S. Xie
English 239.03
Nov 21, 2012

People are in the fortunate position of choosing where in the world you would like to live. However, most immigrants facing removal proceedings are frequently hamstrung by language and cultural barriers. Both Kingston’s Woman Warrior and Suki Kim’s The Interpreter illustrate languagelessness of Chinese and Korean immigrants across American states, which are rejection by failing assimilation into American mainstream, loneliness and isolation from other people, and sense of identity crisis.
Rejection by failing assimilation into American mainstream
For the first generation born in America, it is especially difficult to reconcile the heavy-handed and often restrictive traditions of the emigrants with the relative freedom of life in America.
In Women Warrior, Kingston draws a sharp contrast between her fantasy about Fa Mu Lan, the Chinese traditional woman warrior, and the defining moments of her real "American life." Fa Mu Lan had her village's grievances tattooed on her back; Kingston has Chinese stories practically drilled into her brain and is labeled with racial epithets. Her personal struggle and vengeance lie in making sense of the stories through writing, in depicting through words the struggles of growing up Chinese-American. There is an important difference, though, Fa Mu Lan could achieve her vengeance and then return home, but Kingston's vengeance seems to be a never-ending struggle. She has so many words to deal with that "they do not fit on my skin." The Woman Warrior is just the beginning of Kingston's attempt to articulate her experience, and her journey as a writer is far from over. Whereas Fa Mu Lan vanquishes entire armies and defeats evil barons and giants, Kingston cannot even stand up to the pettiest racist bosses.
Suki Kim presents the ghosts of comfort women…...

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