Analysis Of Gish Jen 's ' Who 's Irish Essay

1684 Words Oct 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Have you ever heard the racial joke that begins with “An American, a Chinese and a Hispanic man are in a plane?” Or how about the one that takes place with different religious leaders meeting in a casual bar? If you live in the United States, especially California I would assume you would have heard these jokes or similar ones. Although they are extremely offensive, they help show how culturally diverse our country is. Being culturally diverse, many people of different religions and backgrounds are exposed to new ones that they are not so used to or even dislike. Beliefs and ideologies of complete opposite are all mixed in “under one roof” and when this happens, conflicts can occur. This clash of cultures is clearly seen in Gish Jen’s short story, “Who’s Irish.” In the story, the cultural conflicts between the traditional Chinese lifestyle and the more modern “Western” lifestyle are brought up and are dominant in the text. To be specific, the cultural clash between the grandmother in the story, who is an older, more traditional Chinese woman, and her daughter who married an Irish man and has a child who grew up in a more western society. The cultural clashing, the differences and the disagreements are all made visible when the question of how to discipline the misbehaving granddaughter is brought up. Before a person can compare the two cultures within the story, it is necessary to understand what a cultural criticism is. According to Robert DiYanni’s textbook Literature-…

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