StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The Individual American Experience - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
The Individual American Experience

Ortiz expounds on the influence of language in forming one's identity in an essay called "The Language We Know." In it, he counters the notion that English is only unifying factor in the American Experience. Ortiz was raised in an Acoma-speaking family. The power of these years upon his creative self-concept is clear. Ultimately; he defines "American" as some permutation of pretense and dispossession. He recalls his father's skill as stoneworker with sandstone and mud to build pueblos - the time, persistence, patience, and the belief that the walls might stand forever (188). He believed working with his father influences his writing (189). Both are methods of continuity. Both are ways in which a people may hold near to themselves (187). Although writing is his profession, building is always his trade.
McBride challenges common and popular notions of insular identities based on simplified racial categories in his book called The Color of Water: a Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother. He counters the notion that racial difference is the defining factor in the African American experience. His dominant narrative is that of self-discovery through the rediscovery of ancestry. Ultimately; he defines "American" as a combination of eclecticism and hardship. This book is written uniquely. Chapter by chapter, it toggles between his mother's experiences of growing up in America with his own. His mother details the strict rules of Orthodox Judaism and how they affected her (16). Although his mother is white, she lives in a black world and refuses to acknowledge her whiteness (37). James lives in a home of "orchestrated chaos" (66). He sees his house as a combination three-ring circus and zoo. He describes some of his siblings - his sister Helen, the rebel; Rosetta, the resident queen of the house; his brother Dennis, the civil rights activist and artist with aspirations of becoming a doctor. The whites at his mother Ruth's school hated Jews, and in public, James becomes ashamed of his white mother (98). 1n 1941, Ruth's Bubeh died. Ruth decided to return to New York (155). Her father tried to get her to stay; she refused. He told her that if she married a black man, she could never come home again. In 1992, while standing in front of a synagogue in Suffolk, James acknowledges his own connection to the synagogue and to Judaism (189).
Abu-Jaber reveals tensions between American and Jordanian cultures in a work called The Language of Baklava: a Memoir. In it, she counters the notion that one Americanizes in some sterile standardized way. For example, her father learns to hail strangers greeting men and women alike with the same greeting: "Hey, bud!" As such, she I grows up thinking of all Americans as Bud (34). Abu-Jaber tells the story of growing up in upstate New York with periodic transplants to Jordan. Her dominant narrative seems to be stories of being raised by a food-loving Jordanian father and Bedouin tents. She completes her work with recipes illuminating American and Jordanian and painting the complex portrait of her displaced father who cooked as a method of continuing the past with the present. Ultimately; she defines "American" as being like her father's relationship with food. His daughters knowing how to feed themselves and others in ways that help define them as people.
Drawing from my own personal ...Show more

Summary

Hardly anyone would argue that parents do not impact the life of a child through the lifespan, but rarely is it as profound as in the American experience of minorities as documented by their own writers. The past defines the present. Simon Ortiz, James McBride and Diane Abu-Jaber explore how personal experiences in America become elements of personal identity…
Author : lafayettebauch
The Individual American Experience essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"The Individual American Experience"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Asian American Experience
These immigrants were mostly Chinese students and skilled laborers. In his work, Professor Ronald Takaki, examines the problems encountered by Asian Americans minority. For the purpose of this essay, I shall look at three major problems faced by Asian Americans from 1965 to date, according to Takaki.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
My Cultural Experience That Relates To Predominate American Culture
In other words, America is still considered by many people as the Land of Opportunity. However, there is still a lot of overt and not so obvious or blatant discrimination when it comes to race relations: at workplaces, at schools and universities, and in some communities.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
American experience in Vietnam
Learning from one’s previous mistakes does not necessarily apply to all. Determination may drive one towards a goal no matter the price to be paid as was with Kennedy john. In his quest to unite citizens to vote him in, he used similar terms that had caused destruction aiding the majority to end up in Vietnam, and we all know what took tall of that.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Individual Reflection on Group Experience
It is important to highlight that the fast change of the current century is being powered on the lines of highly connected telecommunications technology that has advanced in a tremendous way in the recent past. It needs to be mentioned that throughout the previous decade there was a tremendous surge in penetration of internet based connectivity in various parts of the world.
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
How the growth and development of the modern American city has shaped the individual American experience
The American ‘city’ has experienced a number of progressives that have had a major impact on the experience of the Individual American. In particular, the growth and development of the American city has resulted from the social reformers and exceptional intellectuals that have been in the forefront in resolving various aspects relating to the American economy, politics and culture.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
American experience of Democracy
European settlers who immigrated to the 'new world' found an endless array of opportunities unfolding before them; simultaneously they also realized that the 'new world' also envisaged hard work and toil irrespective of the traditional class, creed, and blood distinctions that ruled and is still found in much of Europe.
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
The Asian American Experience
Other Asian nationalities such as the Japanese, Koreans, Southeast Asian nations and Pacific Islanders soon followed. However, the immigration of Asians into the U.S. is a tale woven with the elements of history dreams, hard work, discrimination, prejudice, triumph and persistence.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Asian American Experience
An Asian American is any American of Asiatic decent. In 1965, the United States government passed the Immigration Act of 1965, which saw an increase in Asian population in the United States. These immigrants were mostly Chinese students and skilled laborers. In his work, Professor Ronald Takaki examines the problems encountered by Asian Americans minority.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Religion in american experience
From the North, the same era saw the strengthening of Protestantism in the South where slavery was strongly condemned by use of scriptures, like quoting of Galatians 3:28. The work of the Protestants in
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Individual Clinical Experience Case Description
Working as an emergency department nurse comprises of numerous professional life experiences. Emergency department nurses deals with patients whose health condition has not be known. Normally, an emergency department nurse work in emergency department where one is supposed to interact with the patients whose condition has not been ascertained.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation