1. What does Chaukamnoetkanok see as the main differences between his experience and that of his grandparents?
While both Chaukamnoetkanok and his grandparents’ experiences were very similar, Chaukamnoetkanok points out that there are two main differences. First, the motivation for their immigration was drastically different. Chaukamnoetkanok states “Ar-kong migrated from China mainly for economic reasons. My parents’ main objective for migrating was the education of their children” (Foner 338). His parents left behind everything they had in Thailand and started a new life from the ground up in the United States for the sake of their children. His grandparents, on the other hand, could not provide their own children with a decent education due to circumstances in Thailand, but could provide everything else. The second main difference between the two experiences is that Chaukamnoetkanok struggles with having three identities. He points out that “While most immigrants have double identities to deal with, I have three. Am I Chinese, Thai, or American?” (Foner 339). His grandparents only had to deal with two—Chinese and Thai—but Chaukamnoetkanok is torn between three, making his experiences all the more difficult. He argues that no matter what identity he chooses, he will always be labeled as an “outsider”. His grandparents, on the other hand, were not concerned with being labeled as “different” and simply ignored those who had a prejudice against them. Chaukamnoetkanok understands that he must also possess this mindset in order better his experiences, but cannot change his way of thinking that easily, despite knowing he should. Overall, Chaukamnoetkanok determines that the main differences between his experience and that of his gra...
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..., sneaking across the border, being arrested at the border” (Adichie “The Danger of a Single Story”). However, upon her arrival, she was surprised to witness that Mexicans were just like everyone else—they went to work, they meet in the marketplace, they laugh together, etc.—and slowly began to feel ashamed that she ultimately “dehumanized” them in her mind. In both of her cases, Chimamanda felt ashamed that she let herself believe the worst. From both works, we can see that both individuals believed a single story—whether it be about a place or a group of people—and upon realizing this, were ashamed of their actions. Despite having different experiences, where Chaukamnoetkanok’s expectations were crushed and Chimamanda’s were exceeded, both did convey one similar feeling in their work: they were ashamed of themselves for believing the single stories they were told.
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