This pattern continues today and is prevalent in more modern American writings as well. John Okada’s No-No Boy and Jack Kerouac’s “The Vanishing American Hobo,” two seemingly very different portraits of America, published within three years of each other in 1957 and 1960 respectively, both contain a thread of a confusion of self-identity as it relates to a larger American identity. These two works not only view the relationship between self-identity and country, but also delve into what happens when a country does not accept the identity that an individual has chosen for himself or herself. In No-No Boy, Ichiro and many other Japanese-American characters in the novel must create new American identities for themselves in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat in World War II. In...
... middle of paper ...
...of all Americans. This freedom is what will help America to grow and evolve. The focuses of these two works by Okada and Kerouac, in which they are “Many, but One,” speak to this potential of America.
Kerouac, Jack. “The Vanishing American Hobo.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
Ed. Paul Lauter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. 2360-2366. Print.
Okada, John. No-No Boy. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001. Print.
Sakai, Naoki. “Two Negations: Fear of Being Excluded and the Logic of Self-Esteem.” Novel: A
Forum on Fiction 37.3 (2004): 229-257. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10
Thoburn, Nicholas. “The Hobo Anomalous: class, minorities and political invention in the
Industrial Workers of the World.” Social Movement Studies 2.1 (2003): 61-84. Academic
Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.
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