Essay on Asian American And American Literature

842 Words Mar 10th, 2016 4 Pages
My parents are from Bangladesh and I was born in America. My two cultures clash, especially since I see myself more as American than Bengali. I consider myself Asian American as I am able to accept both cultures. An Asian American is an American with an Asian background who has both American and Asian influences within his or her life. Defining Asian American leads to questioning the definition of Asian American literature. Asian American literature is literature that displays Asian American elements within the work and stresses the definition of Asian American. “Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu, a work of fiction, can be considered Asian American literature because it contains many Asian American elements and displays its own definition of Asian American. Jack from Ken Liu’s “Paper Menagerie” had to balance between his American and Chinese cultures since they clashed very heavily. Jack is an American who grew up in Connecticut with an Asian mother who “didn’t know any English” (1). Jack’s mother was his sole Chinese influence, a kidnapped orphan who ran away from her miserable life by marrying an American man. In America “no one understood [her], and [she] understood nothing” (7). She was miserable after losing all her family back in China and could not communicate with the people around her. She witnessed “shades of [her] mother, [her] father, and [herself]” on Jack’s face when he was born which reinvigorated her soul (8). Since Jack was her only reminder of her ancestry, she…

Related Documents