American Dreamer

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"American Dreamer"

Bharati Mukherjee

In "American Dreamer," Bharati Mukherjee tells her story of coming to the United States and becoming a citizen. Mukerjee left Calcutta in 1961 to study at the University of Iowa. She was to return back to her family but instead Mukerjee fell in love and married. She moved to Canada, where her husband was from. After fourteen years, she and her new family moved back to the United States because of the race-related harassments faced in Canada. Once in the United States, Mukherjee became a citizen. Unlike a lot of immigrants, she didn't get her citizenship for political or religious reasons. Instead, Mukherjee was just a voluntary citizen of the United States. Mukerjee calls herself an American rather than an Asian-American. Mukherjee goes on to explain how America has transformed her and how she is transforming America especially by voting, exercising her rights, and fighting the discrimination. She adds to the multiculturalism that is so vital in the success of the United States.

"I chose to describe myself on my own terms, as an American, rather than as an Asian-American. Why is it that hyphenation is imposed only on nonwhite Americans? Rejecting hyphenation is my refusal to categorize the cultural landscape into a center and its peripheries; it is to demand that the American nation deliver the promises of its dream and its Constitution to all its citizens equally." (Mukerjee 96)

In this paragraph Mukherjee really shows her resistance to the typical immigrants who might call themselves Asian-American instead of just an American. Mukherjee refuses this hyphenation. She believes she is equal to all other American citizens whether she was born in American or not.

Mukherjee has a very serious tone in this paragraph. She is choosing to describe herself "on her own terms" (Mukerjee 96). She chooses to call herself an American and is very proud to do this. She knows that she deserves all the rights and privileges that...
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