Culture Clash Essay

Topics: Fiction, Short story, Character Pages: 2 (502 words) Published: September 20, 2008
The two short stories, “The Tenant” by Mukherjee and “The Red Sweater” by Ng bear many similarities as well as differences. The authors of these two stories go about conveying basically the same message, however, with a slight variety. In these short stories, Mukherjee and Ng go into detail of the lives of two young women struggling with their identities as immigrants in the American culture. This clashing of cultures, predominantly the Asian culture (in these cases), against the American culture, is the central idea that one may conclude after reading these two short stories. Mukherjee and Ng both share or differ in the three literary elements of plot, theme, and characters in portraying the consequences of this culture clash. Plot is a literary element necessary in any short story, and is one given in “The Tenant”. The protagonist of the story is the main and central character, Maya. The story is told in third person and much of the focus is centered on her. The antagonist of the story could also be said to be Maya herself. Exposition is told throughout the story. Bits and pieces of Maya’s past relationships, i.e. husband, men, and father, are shown at a glance here and there. However, much is s

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Unlike Maya, this character is much more dynamic. Exposition in this story, however, is told in much more detail and illustration, unlike Maya, the youngest sister’s history is known.

Mukherjee and Ng takes these three elements of plot, character and theme to depict this conflict of cultures. In “The Tenant”, Maya could be said to be a round character. One can see why she wants to get away from a certain culture and into another, however, with Maya you can only know the going back and forth and not the actual motivation behind it. There is much more that the reader does not know, but by the authors use of “telling” her actions (her wants), she is a much more “motivated” and “consistent” character. They had gone to an American restaurant to eat,...
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