The Accidental Asian Analysis

765 Words 4 Pages
Sometimes I am curious about what the many different groups of minorities feel like in the United States. For example, their struggles, emotions, and actions they choose to make while trying to adjust to a new environment. Eric Liu’s memoir The Accidental Asian demonstrates just that. It depicts the double consciousness, social structures, instances of identity confusion, and the agency a second-generation Chinese American experiences.
In high school, he experiences the social structure of beauty standards. For the first time, Eric became aware that, “bangs were no longer the look for boys.” He began to hold himself negatively accountable for having a bowl cut that he felt was still a satisfactory look for him. This exerted a force on his
…show more content…
He says they weren’t status-obsessed, strict, and were “haphazard about passing down ancestral traditions.” They passed down more stereotypical American values instead such as, allowing their kids to pick and choose which aspects of which cultures to be a part of and experience. For example, it was evident why he no longer understood the Chinese language after grade school. He describes that he wonders why his father, “never insisted that I be able to read the Chinese canon – alas, that I be able to read even a Chinese menu.” This shows that his father never gave him grief about not knowing the language anymore and chose to not impose upon him to learn it again. On the other hand, Eric 's agency, once realizing this about himself, was to choose to take, “two years of intensive Chinese,” at an attempt to try to get back what he had forgotten. Later, he says that after he graduated, he had not studied it since. While this is the decision he made, he still struggles to come to terms with that he can’t even read his father’s memorial book because it is written in …show more content…
He says, “Yes, I can speak some Mandarin and stir-fry a few easy dishes. I have been to China and know something of its history. Still, I could never claim to be Chinese at the core.” Rather, there are many things about himself that he acknowledges to be doing race “white”. For example, he married a white woman, he vacations in bed-and-breakfasts, he has never been a victim of blatant discrimination, he is not too ethnic, and he expects his voice to be heard. He admits that there is very little about himself that he considers to be Chinese. He says he is an, “accidental Asian,” and that he has confusion on what to do with this race that he is assumed to identify with. Though he says this, he still says he would never identify himself to be “white inside”

Related Documents