1.5 Generation

Good Essays
Vietnamese Youths No Longer Look Homeward
Nancy Wride

In her essay, ‘’Vietnamese Youths No longer Look Homeward’’, Wride familiarizes readers with the so-called 1.5 generation and does this by interviewing a group of California high school and college students, who share their thought about the American dream, Vietnamese ancestry, and assimilation. According to Wride the 1.5 generation are Vietnamese who immigrated to the United States of America, typically at an early age, thus most their life spent growing up took place in the U.S, and little in their homeland--Vietnam. The students in the essay all seemed disconnected to the war that forced them out of their own homeland, unlike their parents- who are first generation immigrants, they don’t share the same hatred of communism or suspicions about trading with a former enemy. I believe the 1.5 generation have a lot of cultural conflicts to overcome, like should they retain their homeland’s culture and resist conformity? What would they be giving up or gaining to do either?

Would being an activist to hold on and fight for the Vietnamese culture mean giving up mainstreaming into society, to achieve the American dream? The American dream to Helen Nguyen (a fellow 1.5er) is, ‘’established careers and families,’’ for now things like activism just ‘’seem secondary.’’ Being that they immigrated from a communist country, freedom is also a very important aspect of the American dream to the 1.5 generation but, it also made them

more torn between the worlds of their parents who grew up in a country ‘’where parental authority goes unquestioned’’ and a ‘’freedom -loving society whose aggressive anthem often is Just Do It.’’ The 1.5 generation is completely assimilated into the American society and mostly forgot about their past and root; where they came from and how they got to where they are now.

The students in Wride’s essay argue that the reason it is so hard for them to be

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