Professor Matthew Brophy
October 17, 2012
Girl in Translation Essay
Thesis: Will Kimberly Chang an immigrant overcome her struggles living in poverty to live the American Dream. Quotation: “I’m sorry I brought you to this place,” she whispered. It was the closest Ma would ever come to expressing regret at her choice to come to America. I understood what my task was now and I laid my cheek against her shoulder. “I’m going to get us both out of here, Ma, I promise (48).”
The Girl in Translation is a novel that was written by Jean Kwok. This story is about a Chinese girl Ah-Kim Chang and her Ma, leaving their native land in Hong Kong to find a better life in America. Ah-Kim and her Ma find themselves deeply indebted to Aunt Paula who has paid their airfare, a place to live and many other expenses until they could get on their feet. At the age of five, Ah-Kim and her Ma worked in a Chinatown dirty clothing factory to pay-off their debt to Aunt Paula. Ah-Kim had to handle going to school and helping her Ma in the factory at night. Ah-Kim had to adapt to her new culture and new way of life in America. She even changed her name to Kimberly to fit in. There were times when those adjustments were hard, because she and her Ma needed to learn a new language and the American culture. Kimberly’s elementary school days were hard for her. She was made fun of because of the way her Ma dressed her and her short hair cut. She was also accused of cheating off a classmate’s test and received her first failing grade on a test by her teacher Mr. Bogart. Kimberly was devastated and though this wouldn’t have happened if she was back in Hong Kong where she was the top student in her class. As Kimberly became more familiar with her teachers and classmates her struggles were still apparent. It was time to graduate from elementary school and onto junior high. The elementary class has been practicing their singing for the graduation...
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