in the american society

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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?In the American Society? The story ?In the American Society? deals with the struggles of the Chang family fitting in with American society. The author, Gish Jen, depicts an unequal American society with extremes in affluence and poverty, making it impossible to fit in. She uses specific events in which the characters undergo in order to convey her meaning to the reader of how the ?American Dream? is not for everyone.

?In the American Society? tells the story of an Asian family who having bought a restaurant and making a good living, try to fit in to their new environment. It can be seen from the beginning that the family is trying to become more Americanized and how they are slowly changing to become average Americans. The mother obtains new ideas and opinions about herself and America and starts showing interest in things she never has before, such as espadrilles, wallpaper, and the town country club.

The family is convinced that everyone in the United States has a chance to become happy, rich, and successful if they worked hard.

The characters in this story relate greatly to its meaning. The father represents the old Chinese lifestyle while the mother and children represent the new American lifestyle. The father always reverts back to his old ways that he used to follow in China such as giving money to someone that is in need. He dresses in ten-year-old shirts, with grease-spotted pants, to show how little he cares for what anyone thinks of him. The mother is slowly trying to convert him to the new lifestyle by reminding him that this is the U-S-of-A, dressing him up in suits, and taking him to social gatherings. At the party, the father is humiliated and he finally gets to a point where he...