Compromise and Concession
In most immigrant families, making more money, living better and raising kids as Americans are their goals. Parents know the importance of assimilation, but may not know the paradoxical predicaments their children may face. On one hand, parents expect children to become fully “American”; on the other hand, they desire children to inherit their ethnic culture as well. Concession and compromise are unavoidable in many occasions and this is more obvious in immigrant families.
Concession or compromise means to give up something, especially in order to end an argument or conflict. In the essay, “The Good Daughter,” Caroline Hwang describes her as a second-generation immigrant; her life is paradoxical with compromises and concessions. Hwang becomes fully assimilated in America, but her “American culture” conflicts with her parents’ “Korean expectation”. As an immigrant, I fully understand Hwang’s plight because it reflects me well: being myself or obey parents. I am a second-generation immigrant from China. Before I moved to US with my mother at the age of 15, my father had already worked in a Chinese takeout restaurant in Connecticut for more than 10 years. He worked 6 days a week and more than 12 hours a day, but without good pay. Lacking skills in English not only shrank his career choices but also excluded him to study the American culture. Therefore, he expected me study English hard and engage in school. However, he also wanted me to help at the restaurant at the same time because of my family’s financial situation. So my high school life was like a line between the school and restaurant. I learned English hard in school, but I had to speak in Chinese after school when a group of Chinese staff in the restaurant surrounded me. I engaged in school and enrolled in clubs as much as I could, but I had to stay in the restaurant after school most of the time. I felt that I was distant from classmates and American society. My reading and...
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