Expressions of Identity and Rites of Passage in Asian Culture
Poetry can be acknowledged as a form of art. Art is the product of a combination of elements that allure to the humans’ senses and emotions, which also describes the intent of poetry. Poetry uses a combination or selection of the elements, theme, voice, tone, setting, imagery, figures of speech, and symbolism to accomplish its impact upon the reader. It can express the emotions of life from those happy to those that are painful. Many authors take inspiration from their own lives to create them more personal and seem more tangible to the reader as well. The poems “Lost Sister” by Cathy Song and “Suicide Note” by Janice Mirikitani are similar in theme as well as how they encompassed many elements to entrap the reader in their expressions of identity and rites of passage.
After reading and comparing these works it is found that they have more similarities than differences. Setting, characters involved in the poem, and the stories they tell contain the majority of these poems dissimilarities. “Lost Sister” is both located in China and America and includes two generations of Women, while “Suicide Note” is focused on an Asian American student attending an American college. When taking the basic composition, “Lost Sister” speaks of two generations of Chinese women deciding between the choice to honor their families by keeping their culture or to “rebel” and experience the freedoms and equalities America has to offer. “Suicide Note” is the more tragic in that a young Asian American college student took her own life to receive a form of honor from her family, after disappointing them by not receiving a perfect grade point average. With these two different representations of identity and rites of passage, they are very similar in what they want to convey to the reader.
It is not clear who the speaker is in “Lost Sister”. The speaker can very well be the author, Cathy Song. Song opens her poem expressing...
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