14 December 2014
Hisaye Yamamoto: Wilshire Bus
Rosa Parks will always be known for her courageous acts against racism. Her story of strength and self respect has made her one of the leading ladies in history. Just as Rosa Parks stood up for herself, Esther Kuroiwa fell into the same category. Her story was just another example of how racism constantly continues in this world. Looking through the historical lens and psychoanalytical lens the
by Hisaye Yamamoto is really about racism.
, written by Hisaye Yamamoto in 1950 deals with Esther Kuroiwa, a JapaneseAmerican woman, who is on the way to the hospital in Los Angeles on a Wednesday. It tells of her thoughts, feelings and reaction to the harassment of the ChineseAmerican couple behind her on the bus, by a drunken American. Esther is on the “Wilshire Bus” and aims to visit her husband, who suffers backpain from a war injury in a hospital, each Wednesday. A man, who she notices and classifies as a somatotonic enters the bus, grumbles about the prices and takes a seat behind her. At the next stop a Chinese couple enter the bus. Both the women and her husband, who have problems speaking English, sit down next to and across from Esther respectively. When the bus carries on driving the man, sitting behind her, starts to grouch about a man of the local sporting world, who is quite miserable and is investing some money in the buildings they pass.
After the drunken man said that, the investor wouldn’t give anything to the Chinese, addressing the couple, the elderly women turns round and looks at the man, who starts
addressing and offending the women directly, on grounds of her ethnic belonging. While the man makes jokes at the man’s English, at their race and at their country, Esther starts thinking about ...
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