Essay on An Analysis Of Gish Jen 's ' Who 's Irish

Essay on An Analysis Of Gish Jen 's ' Who 's Irish

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Gish Jen’s story titled Who’s Irish is a story about a chinese grandmother who was struggling to adapt to a different culture. Throughout the story, the grandmother’s perception and understanding conflicted with that of her daughter, Natalie, her son-in-law, John Shae, and, her granddaughter, Sophie. The narrator is a Chinese Grandmother who was nameless and spoke in the first person point of view. When the Grandmother first immigrated to the United States along with her daughter and her husband (who passed away,) she found success through her restaurant. She believed that her hardwork and dedication gave rise to her success in a different country. This was why the grandmother does not like her in-laws. She presumes that because they are Irish, therefore they follow the same stereotype, such as being lazy. The Grandmother comes from a traditional Chinese background and has all the values and traditions that come with it, and therefore struggles with the emerging new identity that second-and third-generation Chinese Americans were developing. The story examines how the characters try to preserve the aspects of their Asian heritage in a developing American Society.
From the beginning of the story, belief and values played a major role in every Chinese family according to the Grandmother. With such pride in her culture and tradition, she influenced her daughter with the same customs and traditions. The Grandmother resent her daughter for marrying an Irish person. The grandmother is disrespectful of her son-in-law and his brothers because they were unemployed even though they are white and were born in the United States. The Mother states that “In China, daughter take care of mother. Here it is the other way around. Mother helps dau...


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... receive any apology or compensation. What! That’s insane! This was my reaction and keep in mind that I was fresh out of Nigeria when these incident occurred. I couldn 't understand this contradictory killing of Riley, a mother of three and why Arfee’s killing got more media attention. My culture places more value on human lives, not that American culture doesn 't value human lives but this example where a dog owner walks away with an official apology and compensation for damage. Was strange to me.
In summary, the Grandmother found it difficult to grasp the fast changing culture and tradition in a different country which conflicted with the new culture her daughter was exposed to. I found myself in a similar situation, and just like the Grandmother in “Who’s Irish” it was difficult for me to understand why people care so much about a pets life over a human 's life.


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