First Generation Immigrants

“Basically they are in the middle between two different worlds and that’s the dilemma. That’s the struggle.” (Martha H. Bigelow; Mogadishu on the Mississippi: Language, Racialized Identity, and Education in a New Land pg. 94). First generation immigrants are torn between multiple cultures, with their parents' views different from the views of the country they are raised in. Through this, first generation immigrants struggle with finding themselves in life and don’t feel as if they belong to either of the two worlds. In the book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford describes the life of Henry and Keiko, who are first generation immigrants, Henry from China and Keiko from Japan. Both Henry and Keiko don’t feel as they belong in …show more content…
Now, in the technological era, first generation immigrants are torn between two worlds more than ever. Their parents pull them in one direction, but the country they are raised in entices them in the other. In the aftermath, they are left with a mix of two cultures that keeps them from fully connecting with either one. Especially immigrants in America are not always accepted as many people believe “We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people” (Theodore Roosevelt; 1919). A strong example is Spanglish, the mixed language between English and Spanish. Spanglish speakers are not fluent in Spanish and nor do they speak English with ease. As a result, those people struggle when speaking to those who can only speak Spanish or only English. Another big part is views on life, politics, and morals. If the home country of immigrants is fighting with the country the immigrants live in now, they might not know whose side to take. As in the book while both his dad and American’s found Japanese as enemies, Henry did not (Ford; pg182-185). Additionally, first generation immigrants are often afraid to invite friends over to their …show more content…
Their life is a mixture of two lifestyles and it is difficult for them to relate with either one of the cultures fully. Furthermore, the people in either one of the cultures don’t want to accept them either. First generation immigrants find themselves with two contrasting ideology’s pulling at them and their outlook on the world is mix of both. Henry’s and Keiko’s life is representation of this universal theme that affects the whole world. Everywhere first generation immigrants wrestle with their own self’s to figure out where there place in life lays in between the blend of cultures and traditions. However, many times they don’t find the place where they feel they truly belong, and through their whole they feel as only mere stranger: outsiders looking in from the

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