It seems necessary to describe the broad concept of ‘the American Dream’ in a few words to facilitate the understanding of the writings of two female ethnic writers. In the simplest possible terms, ‘the American Dreams’ means to achieve a state with abundance of…
While Amy Tan (1990) describes this reality through her own personal experience and in a linguistic point of view, Beverly Tatum (1999) goes further deep into the issue citing different examples from her own life and also from other circumstances she observed in society which include oppression based on color, sex, religion and even sexuality.
Amy Tan shows that the ethnic people, in fact, have to face a rough treatment at the hands of the mainstream White society. As her mother speaks poor and broken English, they are denied proper service many times. She narrates the treatment her mother met at a hospital, “the hospital did not apologize when they said they had lost the CAT...they did not seem to have any sympathy ….they would not give her any more information until the next time” (Tan 78). Tatum too has a very similar opinion in his writings. She vividly explains the common forms of oppression met by a black man on the basis of color. “Do the women hold their purses a little tighter….. Does he hear the sound of automatic door locks on cars as he passes by…is he being followed around by the security guards at the local malls?” (Tatum 289).
It is evident from the writings that due to the substandard shoe being forced to put on due to their ethnicity, the disadvantaged ones often develop a hate towards themselves. This often leads to their further alienating themselves from the mainstream society. Some others, on the other hand, start imitating the dominant class blindly and as closely as possible, still with a feeling of indignity. This is very evident from Amy Tan accepting that “I was ashamed of her English” (Amy Tan 78). Her mother too feels herself worthless and hesitates to communicate with others “she used to have me call people on the phone to pretend I was she” (Amy Tan 78). However, the writer points out that she used to make a lot of ...
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