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Assimilation into American Culture

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In “The struggle to be an All American Girl,” Elizabeth Wong talks about her makeover from a Chinese girl to an American girl. Together with her brother, they were taken to a Chinese school by their mother in order to learn Chinese language as their cultural heritage. She studied the language until she was ten years of age, but was not in way happy to do it because she thought that “Chinese was pedestrian, chaotic and frenzied language.”

She later quit Chinese school at twelve.  Her mother and grandmother were disappointed because for them, they lived as Chinese, since they used Chinese language. In contrast, many people of her culture would fuss and encourage her, saying she would do better in life. For her and her brother, speaking English fluently was the most important thing for them and they would neither like to emulate their mother’s bad English nor the grandmother’s noisy voice.

She finally succeeds in living the American way and abandons her Chinese culture. However, her pursuit to be an American girl frustrates her when she laments and says, “At last I was one of you; I was not one of them. Sadly, I still am”. This shows that she has not wholly transformed to American or considers herself multicultural but is still worried about her Chinese originality.

In chapter two of the book The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher, is a story of the Kurdish sister who were in their first month in America. They were not fluent in English since it was highly accented, though Mary later came to understand that English was their sixth language.

Their culture is presented well when Mary says, “They communicated with each other via small quick gestures and eye movements” (24-25). Despite their happiness, there is cold and they hardly have enough money to spend. However, they see a nation where there are rights. To them America was the best place, since they loved American clothes and makeup’s, which was a contrast to the Iranian camp they were. They remembered a lady in makeup who was stopped by a guard and scrapped on the face

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