Compare/Contrast Maya Angelou’s “Champion of the World” and Amy Tan’s “Fish Cheeks” both capture the authors’ past experiences of oppression, and convey their struggles with identity. Both authors are from minority cultures, and both describe the same harsh pressures from the dominant culture. Both author’s share situations of being outcasts, coming from different racial backgrounds and trying to triumph over these obstacles. Tan and Angelou speak about the differences between their childhood selves and white Americans. Tan talks about the anxiety of a teenage girl who feels embarrassed about her Chinese culture, and who wants to fit in with American society. Angelou’s explains the racial tension and hostility between
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“Fish Cheeks” is Amy Tan’s narrative about her experience as a Chinese American teenage girl in the 1970’s with a crush on the minister’s son, Robert. On Christmas Eve, her parents invite Robert and his family over for dinner. Tan focuses on trying to fit in with the Minister’s family because she doesn’t want to be different. “What would Robert think of our shabby Chinese Christmas?” (Tan 116.) This quote shows that Tan cares too much about what Robert will think about her family Dinner for Tan was a nightmare. She felt like a complete outcast, like the minister and his family were laughing at her and her family’s weird Chinese cuisine. She felt embarrassed at dinner saying, “I wanted to disappear.” (Tan 117) Tan was also paying close attention to the expressions on Robert’s face. “Robert was looking down at his plate with a reddened face.” As she focused, she realized that for dinner, her mom had cooked all her favorite Chinese foods. She sees that her customs and culture are different than that of an American.
Even though these two authors are different, they share the same significant transformation. Through Louis winning the fight, the African American community was finally able to feel superior. Tan was able to overcome her shame upon her Chinese family as