Typical Americans

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This paper encompasses a discussion of the characters in Gish Jen's book "Typical American". More specifically, it will investigate the characters Ralph, Helen, and Theresa had how and if they become Americanized in the story.
Jen's work has been acclaimed as an ironic piece of literature and most critics contend the irony exists in the title of Jen's work.


During the course of the book Helen becomes Ralph's wife, Theresa becomes a doctor, and Ralph earns a Ph. D. in mechanical engineering and gets a job teaching at a local college. During all of this, Ralph and Helen have two daughters. As the story unfolds, it sounds as if these characters are living the American Dream so one could conclude that they have become Americanized. However, it is not as easy as it sounds and this will be discussed in the next portion of the paper.
If first, we examine the word Americanized and its definition we can make a better analysis and decision as to if these characters became Americanized. According to the American Heritage Dictionary Americanized is "1. To make American in form, style, or character.
After reading the definition of Americanized the irony In the title that critics and reviewers of Jen's book speak of becomes apparent. This is because America is a melting pot filled with people from every culture and part of the world, so to define America as a specific culture is ambiguous in itself. With that said and the criteria for Americanized having been set forth we will take a look at Ralph, Helen and Theresa.
In the book, Ralph, Helen and Theresa all become caught up in achieving the American dream. ...
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