Digging to America

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Anne Tyler’s Digging to America truly embraces the true values and unique attributes of America. As an American 20th century writer, Tyler explores the modern American culture and what it means to live in such a vast and diverse country. In the story, she lets us in on the lives of different characters from two separate American families, who struggle with their identities and try to find a sense of belonging. The story starts in an airport in Baltimore, where two families, the Yazdans and the Donaldsons, both anxiously wait for the arrival of a baby from Korea. Little did they know that this affair would mark the start to an accidental, but lasting friendship. Bitsy and Brad Donaldson strictly believe in preserving the traditions of their Korean daughter Jin-Ho, 1while the Yazdans battle and try to find a balance between raising their Korean daughter Susan, the Iranian culture, and the American culture. An annual tradition begins when the Bitsy decides to have an “arrival party”, which commemorates the coming of Susan and Jin-Ho. These families alternate hosting the party, and with each passing year, are able to build a stronger bond. However, problems rise as their cultures clash. The journey of these two families reveals the perspectives of Americans who are born in American and people who are immigrants or have ancestors who are immigrants. The lives of both types of Americans are portrayed both realistically and accurately. Throughout the story, the Yazdans often struggle to fit in and are inspired and ultimately influenced by the Donaldsons. Sami and Ziba Yazdan are intrigued by the lifestyles and decisions of Bitsy and Brad and want to be like them, however, Sami’s mother Maryam, disapproves of this endeavor. Maryam, who is very traditional, can be compared to many grandparents who emigrated from their birth country to America today. She finds distaste in the American culture and has clearly not adapted to not only life in America, but also modern...
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