Essay on Suffering and Assimilation

Essay on Suffering and Assimilation

Length: 1099 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One of the recurring themes that shows up in the literature written by African Americans and Mexican Americans seems to be the suffering of the past and present along with not much hope for the future. The pains expressed by these people are related to race, poverty, violence, and lack of opportunity. Another recurring theme is the minorities assimilation into the white society. Minorities have always been socially pressured to assimilate into the society in which they live. They are subtly encouraged in the United States to become a part, "The American Dream." These two themes can be seen in, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, "Sonny's Blues," by James Baldwin and even the real life of Jean Toomer, a famous writer.

In "Sonny's Blues" the main theme is the suffering of black people in America. The death of Sonny's uncle being killed by a white drunk driver symbolizes the pervasive persecution of black people by whites. The whole family suffers in some way, whether it is the mother feeling extreme sorrow for Sonny or his father tormented by the memory of his brothers painful death and his hatred of white people because of it. The narrator, who never reveals his name suffers in his own particular way. He has his own "Blues" in a way, and he sees darkness everywhere. He imagines his students shooting up heroin in between classes. He says, "Their laughter . . . was not the joyous laughter which God knows why one associates with children." Obviously he doesn't believe being a child has much joy. Sonny escapes the harsh realities of life in Harlem, by escaping through the drug heroin for temporary relief, even though he knows it will kill him. Music to him is freedom from these blues of everyday life. The story s...

... middle of paper ...

...d some form of suffering relating to where they come from, what they look like, or even just the social suffering of trying to fit into the image society has of people. I know for most girls it has been social, they see magazines, models, etc. and want to look like them. I cannot count how many girls I have known who have been borderline anorexic or bulimic so they can fit into society's image of perfection. Assimilating into society, or even a clique at school is something everyone can relate to. Everyone feels the need to be accepted, that is human nature. Gangs, sororities, fraternities, are all started for that specific reason so people can feel the belonging and acceptance of a group. While issues of assimilation and suffering are not unique to African Americans and Mexican Americans, they certainly dwarf those faced by members of traditional white society.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Native Assimilation was Actually Robbery

- Imagine us humans of the world living life the normal way we do now, and suddenly being robbed of our planet earth by aliens. These aliens take our home and begin to makes us walk, talk, dress, and learn like them. They teach us about extraterrestrial history and their religious leaders, they make us wear itchy space suits and uncomfortable space boots, and they take control of and generally reevaluate our previously known way of life. If this happened that would really suck. Furthermore, after envisioning yourself in a situation like this where your morals and culture traits are basically stripped away from you and replaced with newfound alien lifestyles, maybe now you can relate to what th...   [tags: government, America, culture]

Good Essays
611 words (1.7 pages)

Native Americans and Cultural Assimilation Essays

- ... The Great Spirit communicates with humans through intermediaries that reside in nature, which makes Native Americans to live harmoniously with the earth. Everything on earth is considered a spiritual being that needs to be respected to keep the world in balance. Unlike the Christian God, the Great Spirit does not punish people for behaving bad or not believing in Him; the life out of balance with the earth and the community is the only punishment one can bring on him/herself. Consequently, such little tension or anxiety over salvation allowed Native Americans to focus on this-world....   [tags: white culture, history, conflicts]

Good Essays
1945 words (5.6 pages)

The Between Cultural Heritage And American Assimilation Essay

- In the twentieth century, the United States of America has transitioned into a more diverse nation. Immigrants arriving from around the globe combined with African Americans to challenge the American identity. As a result, prominent figures including Theodore Roosevelt believed every American should indeed be Americanized. Throughout the twentieth century, Americanization, which means to sacrifice an old culture in favor of American culture, remains an issue amongst authors in particular. Authors in the twentieth century expressed their stance on the battle between cultural heritage and American assimilation....   [tags: Black people, Race, White people, Racism]

Good Essays
2387 words (6.8 pages)

Essay on Assimilation: The Drawbacks of Cross-Cultural Misunderstandings

- The author of the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, Anne Fadiman exhibits a story about the collision between two cultures and the way things affected the character’s lives. The main character, Lia, is found grasped in a dilemma within her family’s culture and the American lifestyle. Since a baby, Lia suffered form epileptic seizures, which were viewed as a positive trait for the Hmong community; those people who suffered from seizures were credited to be a twix neeb, in other words, “a person with healing spirit” (Fadiman 21)....   [tags: Culture ]

Good Essays
1530 words (4.4 pages)

The Assimilation Policy and Its Impact on the Indigenous Australian Society

- Since the time of federation the Aboriginal people have been fighting for their rights through protests, strikes and the notorious ‘day of mourning’. However, over the last century the Australian federal government has generated policies which manage and restrained that of the Aboriginal people’s rights, citizenships and general protection. The Australian government policy that has had the most significant impact on indigenous Australians is the assimilation policy. The reasons behind this include the influences that the stolen generation has had on the indigenous Australians, their relegated rights and their entitlement to vote and the impact that the policy has had on the indigenous people...   [tags: Aboriginal people rights, discrimination]

Good Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

The novel, Houseboy, is a Critique of Colonial Legacy of Africa Essay

- “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”- Bishop Desmond Tutu. Houseboy a novel written by Ferdinand Oyono is an anti-colonial novel. This novel is written in a diary form from the view of Toundi. Toundi is the main character and through his life experiences Oyono reveals the truth about the colonialists which were the French. The novel starts with Toundi on his deathbed and then he later recalls the events that caused him to be there....   [tags: culture, assimilation, religion]

Good Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)

The Coal Fields Of Colorado Essay

- In the coal fields of Colorado, employers and employees rarely saw eye to eye, and conflicts were common. Like any explosive relationship, there were roots to the various conflicts between workers and companies. These conflicts can be linked to the uniquely Western identity of the Colorado coal fields. Like other Western areas, the coal fields attracted immigrants, and the cultures of those immigrants didn’t always match with those of mining companies. But the atmosphere of the camps also fostered conflict due to the more independent work culture of Western mining....   [tags: Culture, Cultural assimilation, 19th century]

Good Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Cultural Assimilation Of The Modern World Essay

- In the modern world many individuals move to a new country and experience different lifestyle. Cultural assimilation is the process by which a person or a group 's language and culture come to resemble those of another group. The term is used to refer to both individuals and groups, and in the latter case, it can refer to either immigrant or native residents who come to be culturally dominated by another society (Crispino 250). Individuals assimilate into a new culture by following common traditions, beliefs, and everyday lifestyles....   [tags: Culture, Cultural assimilation, Assimilation]

Good Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Acculturation and Assimilation

- Dreams are powerful. They are images that flash in our mind as we sleep or goals that define us while we are awake. For centuries, dreams have been the reason for immigrants to come to America. Dreams of hope, love, refuge and a dream of a better job, education and life. America has warmly embraced immigrants and their aspirations over the centuries, but unfortunately today Americans do not graciously except all the foreigners that travel to the Untied States in search of the american dream. Instead America labels the individual’s race and categorizes them into a racial class, which only adds to the difficult trials for immigrants and have the potential to hinder dreams....   [tags: Forced Assimilation, America, Immigration]

Good Essays
1569 words (4.5 pages)

The Curious Case Of Assimilation Essay example

- The Curious Case of Assimilation Pavithra Yendluru. Having travelled a lot in my childhood, I have had various experiences relating to assimilation. Some were good, some were definitely challenging and a handful was rather negative. Always being “that kid” in a classroom was frustrating for my younger self and I looked into assimilating myself from an early age. It was quite some time later that I decided assimilation was necessary till a certain extent, which also reflected in the literature I started consuming....   [tags: Culture, The Culture, Assimilation]

Good Essays
746 words (2.1 pages)