Paul E. Abraham, Jr
Professor Danyelle Revell
English 115 English Composition
November 18, 2012
An essay entitled “Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits” (2011) was written by Suki Kim and is her memoir of her transition from South Korea to America. Kim is the author of the novel The Interpreter (2003); her first book. She arrived in America at a young age and faced difficulty adjusting to a foreign land much different from her home in South Korea. Kim found it difficult to adjust to her new status in America of being poverty stricken when she was use to a catered life in South Korea. The author describes her neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City as the Wild West. The family escaped a financial crisis in her hometown in South Korea and moved to the United States. The author’s family was wealthy and lived a very comfortable lifestyle prior to living conditions in Queens. The Kim family arrived in New York City broke, no place to live, and needing employment. The family fled South Korea to avoid prosecution for bankruptcy whereby the author seems to be resentful towards her father. The family shared a two-family brownstone owned by another Korean family that ran a cleaner in Harlem, New York.
The author’s American educational experience began the first day of school when she learned the meaning of F.O.B. (fresh off the boat). This was not a friendly beginning and she did not speak any English. Kim only knew Andy and Billy who were her new neighbors from next door. She was used to being chauffeured to and from school with a governess’ oversight to get whatever she needed, getting homework done, or even doing the laundry. There was no maid to wait hand and foot in America, so she had to do chores. She encountered the term Asian which was a realization that she was not amongst her culture or homeland....