An Analysis of A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee

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Chang-rae lee, in A Gesture Life, pictures a Japanese immigrant named Franklin Hata. Hata have been seeking assimilation into the American society. To become part of the society, Hata tries to become the perfect citizen in the society, a "mascot" who everyone knows and respects. To further his assimilation, he tries to complete the picture of a whole and healthy family as many ideal Americans. Through adapting Sunny, Hata wants to assimilate through a parental figure. Through parental figure that is caring, a good parent and good heritage, supremely suggesting that a parent that is successful in all is a parent that is successful in society. But Sunny plays a different character in his life, a character that alters Hata's idea as she is a miscegenation subject that wanders around the margins of Bedley Run. With an adopted daughter as Sunny, Hata has nothing but disappointment. Maybe you don't know it, but all you care is your reputation in this snotty, shitty town, and how I might hurt it… "I don't need you," she said softly, and without remorse. "I never needed you. I don't know why, but you needed me, but never the other way." (94-96)

On the night Hata seeks for Sunny at Gizzi's house, the pure figure of womanhood Hata longs for vanishes before his eyes. As he watches Sunny "run her hands over herself, pressing across the skimpy shirting and down her naked thighs and up again…she was moving and dancing with every suggestion, and then finally she was touching herself in places no decent woman would wish men to think about, much less to see." (p.114-115). At the end of the passage, Hata's dreams of Sunny as a recovery force in his own life fades, and he regrets that she is his daughter and not just another woman. Sunny can't be the innocent symbol of benevolence and discipline related as Hata wanted.

Almost a year after Sunny left Hata's home and moved to the city to live with her boyfriend, Lincoln Evans, Sunny contacts Hata because she is pregnant and she...
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