Cultural Assimilation In Everyday Use

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Who Are We? Culture is a learned behavior as much as it is inherited. Culture will influence someone’s identity and how they see the world. Each individual identifies with some aspect of their cultural background for a sense of belonging, whether it is cultural assimilation, societal participation, inherited traits or a combination of the three. Although, people of different cultures are influenced by family, the individual is also influenced by society. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker shows different people belonging to the same culture that have differences that define them and their outlook on culture. “We Would Like You to Know” by Ana Castillo expresses that skin color, stereotypes, and assumptions of a culture do not define someone’s …show more content…
Ana Castillo and Alice Walker’s short story and poem objectives are similar yet exclusively different individual experiences. Castillo uses her own personal life as an example to express the ever-present judgment and stereotypes she faces every day. Castillo conveys to the reader throughout her short story why they feel like a victim and how it has affected other cultures when she says “we are not all brown.” On the other hand, Walker uses multiple characters to show different levels of assimilation throughout history. Mama states, “in 1927 colored asked fewer questions,” when referring to the school closure, Dee/Wangero was sent to school in Augusta for a better education, that opportunity did not exist for mama when she was growing up. Maggie feels awkward and shy around her sister. Maggie does not know how to feel about the influence of her sister’s more modern life-style because she has been sheltered by mama and has not been shown the more modern world. These situations all contribute to the cultural background someone has and how they will pass down their culture to the next generation. In conclusion to the different cultural backgrounds and how someone identifies to their culture is affected and influenced by society as well as personal …show more content…
Each person participates in society at different paces and most often the determination of the participants is the key factor leading to acceptance. Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging; whether it is living with cultural roots still today or through the adaptation into a modernized world. Maggie inherits traits from mama while Dee/Wangero embraces the unknown and feels that her inherited traits are dead to her. In Castillo’s poem, she repeatedly talks about things that she would like for outsiders to know about the people of her culture. Castillo speaks for the stereotypes and assumptions that come with her culture. Castillo may want the reader to know inherited traits are one thing but they do not define that person and how they identify into society for a sense of belonging. Overall, Castillo’s poem tells the reader racism today is still a problem. Walker’s short story shows the importance of culture to some and how others are working to leave the oppressing culture and burdens behind

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