Lived Back Home

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The Identity Conflicts of First Generation Children

In the short story, “Lectures on How You Never Lived Back Home,” M. Evelina Galang illustrates the frustration and struggle first generation children confront in finding their identity while growing up in America. She expresses the thoughts and emotions of a young, Filipino-American girl who tries to find a balance between her American culture and Filipino roots. From trying to please her family’s customs and blending in with American society, Galang shows how first generation youth often feel conflicted about their identities because they try to live two different cultures.
One of the many issues first generation children confront when they come to America is the difference in gender roles
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For example, Galang describes the protagonist 's life as, “never having to obey a curfew because of war...never been without heat, without food, without parents. All your life worries consisted of boys and pimples and overdue books.” (pg. 84) In comparison, the protagonist 's mother grew up in the Philippines during wartime, most likely enduring horrid conditions of violence and terror and her father farmed fish as a boy to make ends meet. Consequently, the differences in environments and hardships makes it difficult for the parents of first generation children to relate to the problems their children confront because they have been through much worse and do not understand their children’s dilemmas in American society. Unlike the parents of first generation children, American parents can relate to their children’s struggles and help lead them in life with first hand experiences and advice because they both grew up in the same society and culture. As a result, the disconnection between parent and child adds to the identity crisis first generation children face while growing up in America because they have no one to help guide them with into blending into American

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