Identity: An Analysis on Language in Natalie Dias Lorenzi’s Flying the Dragon

Essay by KCatybCollege, UndergraduateB, October 2014

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Kirstin Catyb

Prof. Malieckal

EN 105

Essay 1

Identity: An Analysis on Language in Natalie Dias Lorenzi's Flying the Dragon

Hiroshi and Skye were just two average teens. Both were attending school and exploring their interests. Skye had just made the cut on her town's All-Star soccer team, and Hiroshi was busy planning for a kite flying competition with his grandfather. Even though Hiroshi and Skye were cousins, they had never met. This was because Hiroshi and his family lived in a small village in Japan, while Skye and her family lived in Washington D.C. After Hiroshi's family found that grandfather was sick, they set off for America in hope of receiving the best medical care possible. This was also a good opportunity for the whole family to come together again, after a "falling out" separated them years ago. Hiroshi now had to adapt to this new way of life, and needed to learn a new way to communicate with the people around him.

Lorenzi's Flying the Dragon revealed how essential language is when portraying one's identity.

Language reflects a person's culture. In the reading, it is very clear to see the difference between English and Japanese language. When Hiroshi speaks Japanese, he is very formal. For example, Hiroshi addresses his family members by "First Uncle" and "Grandfather". An English speaker would normally address them as "Uncle Ken" or "Grampa" which is much more relaxed and informal. Hiroshi and Skye likewise address their teachers differently. In Japan, the polite way for Hiroshi to address his teacher would simply be "Teacher" where as in America Skye addresses her teacher as "Mrs. Garcia". Also, in Japan you are not supposed to look at an elder directly in the eyes, but in America it is seen as rude if you...