Comparison Of Mona In The Promised Land And Negocios

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In Mona in the Promised Land, by Gish Jen, Mona Chang’s parents immigrate from China. In doing so, Mona, a teenager, is forced to assimilate to American culture. Mona’s friends, Barbara Gugelstein, helps her navigate through American culture; however, Mona’s parents help her hold on to her own culture. On the other hand, Ramón de las Casas, or Papi, in Negocios, by Junot Díaz, comes to America by himself, struggling to look for a stable home and job, having no one to look up to. Ramón and Mona have different situations in the United States as Mona is a first-generation American while Ramón has just finished immigrating to America. Neither situation is more valid as each situation brings their own set of challenges, but it does not necessarily …show more content…
When Ramón arrived to America, a cabdriver called him in Spanish, proving to be the first person to offer advice to Ramón: “find a place to live here, the driver advised. And first thing tomorrow get yourself a job. Anything you can find” (Diaz, 168). The cab driver, who has a modest job, realizes how he can help Ramon’s transition to the United States be even easier. The advice feels genuine, as if the cabdriver followed this very same advice when he arrived to America. What makes Ramón’s experience so authentic is the fact that he has genuine bonds with people that have experienced the same challenges as him and their willingness to help. The kindness Ramón received was probably a result of the hardships the cabdriver faced while coming to the US. Ramon isn’t following the advice of an American that has been born in the country because it’d be useless. In listening to people that have already gone through multiple mistakes, Ramon can be better equipped to handle life in America. For instance, Ramón learns more about living in the US from Eulalio, Ramón’s third roommate: “He’d been in the States close to two years and when he met Papi he spoke to him in English. When Papi didn’t answer, Eulalio switched to Spanish. You’re going to have to practice if you expect to get anywhere” (Diaz, 171). It is interesting how Diaz has chosen to make English a central theme in this section of the story -- English is of course the language the most spoken in America, yet sometimes we forget how important it is to be able to speak it. Also, when Eulalio says “you’re going to have to practice”, he says it so that it sounds like a requirement in order to fit in with the Americans. Although Ramón likes

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