The Birthmark

Topics: Poverty, Foreign-born Japanese, Flag of Japan Pages: 4 (904 words) Published: November 8, 2014
Ashley Hughes
Ms. Erickson
Essay 1
13 September 2014
Innocence At Loss
Chuck Palahniuk once said, “Nothing of me is original. I am a combined effort of everyone I have ever known.” Personal identity is something with which many young people struggle. Along the path to discovering oneself, many challenges must be faced and not all of them are easy to overcome. Z. Z. Packer’s “Geese” is a pivotal tale about the loss of innocence and morality. The story revolves around Dina, a young girl, who uproots her life in Baltimore to make a life-changing move to Japan. Throughout this fictitious piece of literature, we see this juvenile girl dealing with moments of uncertainty and tension inherent in her movement to mature adulthood. Any move away from home causes an unwanted tension that many must have to face. For Dina, who had always admired Japan, the move was a surefire way to make money, or so she thought. Dina’s plan was to move to Japan, “in the hopes of making a pile of money, socking it away, then living somewhere cheap and tropical for a year” (193). What she didn’t expect was that she may be the only African-American in Japan. This uniqueness of her appearance adds an unwarranted stress to her already challenging time finding a sufficient work.  Eventually, she must move into an apartment with other people who are struggling just as she is; which adds another layer of difficulty. With the lack of monetary intake in the house, times and stress levels are at a high and over time it leaves them slowly becoming poorer and poorer until they are starving. The main conflict that sets the theme for the story is based on how society sees Dina; “…too many Japanese had already seen American movies in which blacks were either criminals or custodians.” (196). A hint of racism prevailed in the minds of many Japanese citizens and Dina did not want to succumb to the stereotype that the Japanese have created based on their knowledge of American society. To...

Cited: Packer, Z.Z. "Geese." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. 10th ed. N.p.: Bedford/st Martins, 2010. 193-204. Print.
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