Cultural Connections

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Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, main character of the story “Two Lives”, the writer stated that Shirley’s own feeling to become a new immigrant and her new life in the United States. She felt herself like a resident alien. It was a hard time to be the new immigrant for Shirley because she did not know anybody and no one would be noted even she died. As we know, new immigrants mean those people who immigrate from their native country to another country. So what do the citizens will think about the immigrants? And how do the new immigrants get into their whole new lives?

A lot of the new immigrants would have the mourned feeling when they were first time to stay in the new country that they had never been here before. In “Two Lives”, the writer used the following sentence to describe Shirley’s feeling as a resident alien: “Without family, house, or society, she views herself through the eyes of citizens: guest, stranger, outsider, misfit, beggar.” The writer used the words “guest,” “stranger,” “outsider,” “misfit,” and “beggar” not only to show the reader the condition of the new immigrant, but also to make the reader feel mourning. It becomes obvious that the writer used these words to stimulate the reader’s sense of feeling as well as her sense of mind.

Further on in the story, it shows that Shirley has tried to use her own way to get into her new life in the strange country. The writer wrote: “Finally, she forgets what it feels like not to be a stranger. She has found work that keeps her busy, or better still, tired. She has found a lover, a child, a telephone friend.” It illustrates that Shirley has learned the ways to integrate into new society such as hard working, building up her own family, and making new friends. However, Shirley felt more comfortable to stay in the new society because she did not feel lonely and mourning anymore.

Most of the new immigrants would be afraid and upset when they came to another country because it had different cultural and...
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