C. Reeves, M. O’Neal, D. Tran
English II 3B
1st March 2012
Effects of Culture
How much of your life has changed because of the culture you’ve been used to? Think about everything you've ever done in your life. All your actions and emotions towards things–how naturally did they come? The cultural background of a person sways him or her to act in certain ways. Culture is the source of what one comes out to be, even after many years from what he or she first saw of a culture. A person’s culture affects all of his or her life and even shapes who the individual is now. In the short story “Dave Barry Does Japan”, Dave Barry uses himself and his experience to show that one’s culture shapes who they are and how they react to certain situations. Barry shares his experiences when he visited Japan to display how the Japanese culture may include aspects of American culture, or more generally foreign aspects, but they did not know the meaning of it. This shows that culture will influence a person’s effort to react to an event, such as when Barry asked for ketchup but the Japanese didn’t understand him. Even though they had American music playing in the store, they couldn’t figure out what Barry wanted. Barry says that “to the Japanese, English doesn’t seem to mean anything” (118). He wanted to scream, “HOW CAN YOU NOT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH WHEN ALL DAY LONG YOU LISTEN TO ‘DO-WAH DIDDY DIDDY DUM DIDDY DO’,” Barry had also said (118). This was a prime example to demonstrate that although the Japanese vaguely had bits of culture that were not native to them, they still connected to their own to create the feeling that with most situations, people will not stray from what they have been used to. A person’s customs and habits will keep him or her from wandering away to something they are not used to or are uncomfortable with. A person’s culture is used as one’s ambition; it fuels one to do and say things throughout a person’s entire life. For example, in “The Hunger of...
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