Analysis Of ' Light At The End Of Painful Tunnel ' Essay

1143 Words Aug 3rd, 2015 null Page
EN216
Makiko Oshimatani
Summer 2015
Comparative Analysis

Light at the end of painful tunnel

Both David Sedaris and Li-Young Lee describe their assimilation struggles from immigrants’ point of view in their fiction “Jesus Shaves” and the poem “Persimmons.” Cultural assimilation is a painful process, commonly receiving explicit or implicit messages that they are fundamentally wrong. In “Jesus Shaves,” for example, the narrator, Sedaris, gets a mortified reaction from his classmates and a head shaking from his teacher for not knowing who brings chocolate on Easter “correctly.” His American concept of Easter chocolate deliverer is rejected by his French teacher as well as his classmates. In “Persimmons,” the Chinese speaker, Lee, is punished by his American teacher, Mrs. Walker, for not being able to distinguish the words ‘persimmon’ and ‘precision.’ Frequent rejection and punishment such as these examples are often painful experience for young immigrants. The pain of cultural assimilation often causes them to seek acceptance and protection somewhere else, and in often cases they find comfort in their original cultures.
Casual correction would not be painful, but in the case of cultural assimilation, the pain stems from the resistance to the new culture especially when one has preconceived notion from the previous cultures. Such resistance is clear in “Jesus Shaves” as Sedaris strongly holds onto the American notion that a rabbit brings chocolate on Easter day, while having…

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