Have you ever though what does the word "culture" means? Well, throughout life people refer to this word as art, beliefs, behavior, ideas or activities relating to literature, art, and music of a particular society or group of people. However, that is only the simply definition that appears on the dictionary. Culture involves other important subjects that describe deeply this word, issues such as, family, language, identity, stereotyping, raising, expectations, economic situation and so on. Therefore, family is the place in which society begins, but in many cases families are part of different cultures, and the ones that are affected by this situation are the kids. These children are the ones who have to fight day by day against these two different worlds. To illustrate this, I choose some stories such as, "the Good Daughter," by Caroline Hwang, "Living in Two Worlds," by Marcus Mabry and "Almost a Woman," by Esmeralda Santiago. Each of these stories reveals the conflicts children have to confront in the adjustment in a foreign culture and the roles that family and cultural identity play in accentuating these dilemmas. This essay will show how children have to face the pressures and demands of living in two different cultures.
First of all, one important aspect of the experiences of these children is to define their identity. Therefore, for children that belongs to two cultures is not easy to find their identity, especially if they come from immigrant families. In the story "The Good Daughter," Caroline Hwang, an American-born Korean, describes how she loses her identity. Throughout all her life she though that she was American as Korean, but she did not imagine that a visit to the dry cleaner was going to make her realize that she was not as Korean as she though. According to "The Good Daughter," The woman behind the counter of the dry cleaner tells Caroline: "You do not how to speak your name," (15). This incident surprised her; at that moment she discovers that all her life she had mispronounced her name. Besides that, she feels betrayed by her parents, since they never tried to correct her and for that reason, she became unsatisfied with her cultural identity. Caroline says, "I identify with Americans, but Americans do not identify with me," (16). This shows how difficult it is for her to be a part of American society and how she is repelled from the only culture that she knows. For instance, the parent-child relationships it is very important in the development of self-esteem in children. On the other hand,
Secondly, poverty is unfortunate but is the true reality that many individuals have to face. Sometimes people do not discover that they are poor until they travel between those two worlds or cultures. In the yarn "Living in Two Words," Marcus Mabry has two different lives. He discusses his life in Stanford University, where he resides in a nice two bedroom apartment on campus and on which he have had a sheltered life with dinner parties, and comfort. However, during winter break he has to return home and hit with the reality. The transition from University life to his poor home seems to create a great emotional confusion in his life. Seeing his family situation Marcus feels helpless, embarrassed and even guilty sometimes, he says, "More than my sense of guilt, my sense of helpless increases each time I returned home," (Mabry 153). Therefore, Marcus feels a terrible ache knowing that his family is suffering all the time and that his people are being killed by poverty. In addition, scarcity continue to let our children live in unsatisfactory conditions. As an illustration of this, in the story "
Last, language is one of the most important facts that influence in the adjustment of cultures. As humans we acquire language for very direct, meaningful purposes. In the story "