Exploring Influence on Identity in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For Essay

Exploring Influence on Identity in Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For Essay

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Have you ever gone to Chinatown supposing to find a culture full of African Americans? Probably not, because that is not where they’re expected to be. We live in a world where colonies of different colored people are expected, or otherwise discriminated into populating distinct spaces; African Americans are supposed to be in the ghetto, Chinese belong in Chinatown, and Caucasians reserve more elite communities. For centuries, each race has been striving to belong in a society where people are accepted as equals and certain jobs are not handed out to favored ethnicities. This form of discrimination has somewhat dwindled down, however, it still has an undeniable impact on the lives of every single generation since mankind was created. In Dionne Brand’s What We All Long For (WWALF), we view and contrast the lives of four different but very similar characters in which they negotiate different aspects of their lives in order to find their own unique and comfortable place in the powerful and diverse city of Toronto. The following essay examines the depiction of global spaces and the effects on diasporic identity through characters Tuyen and Carla from WWALF. I will analyze and contrast the adaptation of the characters to the city, the influence from the characters’ homes, and the connection to the emotional spaces; illustrating the effects on identification.
Asian’s and Black’s struggle with the legacies of cruelty which in turn has reduced the value of human life to dust—the residue from refugee, slavery, and loss; all ties in together as we view souls who live in such a colorful place, but who originally viewed the world as black and white. Toronto embodies 2.5 million faces with many of whom originate from various places of the worl...


... middle of paper ...


...pecially for second generation Torontonians, but detangling themselves from the family past and unhomeliness allows for the city to be seen as a much brighter place that enables them to come out and discover themselves further. In conclusion, in order to find “What We All Long For”, it is within ourselves to discover and reflect influences in our lives that weighs us down, to then either deal or cope with the situation to finally live a life free of anxiety, loss and pain.



Works Cited

Brand, Dionne. What We All Long For.
Toronto. 2005. Print.
Nguyen, Karen. “Diasporic Approached to Home and Family in Dionne Brand’s What We All
Long For.” Digital Commons At McMaster. Web. 8 Jan. 2008.
Mckibbon, Molly. “Possibilities of Home: Negotiating Space in Dionne Brand’s What We All
Long For.” Journal of Black Studies 38.3 (1998). JSTOR. Web. 3 Jan. 2008.

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