StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...
Free

The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Majority of people experience this struggle in their youth, when they start to discover and express their choices in life. Meanwhile, some people experience a never-ending struggle because they refuse enculturation. In…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER99% of users find it useful
The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King"

Cultural Assimilation and Acculturation Every person undergoes the struggle for personal identity. Majority of people experiencethis struggle in their youth, when they start to discover and express their choices in life. Meanwhile, some people experience a never-ending struggle because they refuse enculturation. In Thomas King’s “Borders” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Immigrants,” the two authors show people’s strong resistance to cultural assimilation and acculturation, thus highlighting their need for personal identity.
The main character in “Borders” pays a lot of importance to personal identity. When asked of her citizenship, she always declares that she is a “Barefoot.” It takes her and her son days to pass through the borders going to Salt Lake City because of her unwillingness to identify herself as a Canadian. She also brings a lot of food to avoid buying from convenience stores and dresses up in their old ways because she did not want “crossing the border looking like Americans” (King 133). The narrator observes his mother’s resistance of acculturation and allows her to do what she likes. He can guess what she is about to tell the immigration personnel but never contradicts her even though her manners would cause a big delay.
The mother’s attitude is opposed to her daughter’s. Laetitia, shows clear signs of acculturation. The latter is more lenient and ready for assimilation because she claims that her “Dad’s American” (King 131). She likes living in Salt Lake City on her own, and boasts about the city’s improvements with her mother. Despite her defiance of acculturation, the mother is not totally against other cultures. The fact that she marries an American illustrates her openness to assimilation. Likewise, she pays a visit to her daughter to see Salt Lake City and buys Mel from duty free a souvenir hat as a sign of friendship.
In Atwood’s poem, the persona presents an example of acculturation as she expresses disgust at the sight of immigrants who lurk in the streets, thus:
I see them coming
Up from the hold smelling of vomit
Infested, emaciated, their skins grey
With travel, as they step on shore. (Atwood l.10-13)
The negative images that the author uses lead readers to form a similarly negative view of the immigrants.
Nevertheless, while the persona expresses resistance to assimilating the immigrants’ culture or behavior, she admits the fact that she herself is an immigrant, saying, “I wish I could forget them/and so forget myself” (Atwood 31). This means that while she loathes the immigrants, she recognizes her complete assimilation and acculturation to an identity that other American immigrants have established. By forgetting the immigrants she observes, she could then forget herself. This implies that the narrator despises the thought of being an immigrant as it reminds her of her own lack of identity.
The persona attempts to show contrast between her and the immigrants as she declares that “the towns pass laws that declare them obsolete” (Atwood l.9). Noticeably, she uses the plural term “towns” to mean that several people from different places have agreed to have the immigrants leave the country. Likewise, she uses the term, “obsolete” which could pertain to the permit that allows the immigrants to stay in America. Nevertheless, the use of the word connotes bias and mistreatment because living beings can only be alive or dead, not obsolete. Being obsolete could simply mean forgetting them or letting them exist but not caring whether they live or die in the cold.
The last stanza of the poem reveals what the persona wishes for herself. Claiming that her mind is “a wide pink map…across which move…arrows and dots,” (Atwood 32-33), she describes travelling from one place to another and seeing a lot of people. The pink color may represent neutrality and calmness. Likewise, it is also a very feminine color, which implies the gentleness and acceptance of the persona to things she encounters, moving from one place to another. Recalling the image of people “riding across an ocean of an unknown/land to an unknown land,” (Atwood 39-40), the persona expresses her wish to find her own identity amid the changes around her.
The writings of King and Atwood similarly show the people’s struggle for personal identity. Although they differ in their views on cultural assimilation and acculturation, both authors who have Canadian ancestry deal with the issue of establishing one’s own identity. The mother in “Borders” strongly resists the American and modern-day influences while the persona in “The Immigrants” tries to embrace a new found identity, which she takes from people who have succeeded in their journey as immigrants as well.
Works Cited
Atwood, Margaret. “The Immigrants.” Book, ed. Place: Publisher, year: pages.
King, Thomas. “Borders.” Book, ed. Place: Publisher, year: pages. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/english/1693778-the-immigrants-by-margaret-atwood-and-borders-by-thomas-king
(The Immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King Essay)
https://studentshare.org/english/1693778-the-immigrants-by-margaret-atwood-and-borders-by-thomas-king.
“The Immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1693778-the-immigrants-by-margaret-atwood-and-borders-by-thomas-king.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King

Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

...?Handmaid's Tale In her book A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood presents the fictional story of a woman trapped in a post-modern world of strict social structure. This society has been based upon a very religious ideology and patriarchal worldview. The main character is Offred, who has been assigned the social and vocational role of a Handmaid. This is a woman who, because of her background as a fertile woman (she had a daughter) previously married to a divorcee (making her marriage null and void in this society and herself a close-cousin to a prostitute because she had broken her original vows), has been reassigned in the new world order to provide an elite couple with a child. Each month, when she’s at the right point in her reproductive...
9 Pages(2250 words)Book Report/Review

Journal of book (THE HANDMAID'S TALE) by Margaret Atwood

...? of the of the The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s tale” is the story of a woman Offred who is being kept as a concubine in the totalitarian society of America. The story is set in the Republic of Gilead which has been formed after the dissolution of America. Male chauvinism is clearly visible in this society and so is the class system. From the babies that are born to the women living in the republic, everything has been divided into different classes. Margaret’s main aim behind writing the story is to show the probable result of the attitudes and opinions held by the society. She has set up a society based on conservative beliefs such as restriction of women to their homes, and denying them the expression of freedom...
2 Pages(500 words)Book Report/Review

Borders by Thomas King

... Border by Thomas King Introduction Thomas King, an English-Canadian of Greek and Cherokee descent happens to be one of Canada’s most adored and significantly celebrated writers. Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, scriptwriter, short story writer and a photographer (Athabasca University). The “Border” is a short story written by Thomas King, which narrates the story of a concerned woman, mother, an affiliate of Blackfoot tribe. It is greatly attached to the ethnic background perspective. It depicts challenges associated with citizenship based on individual background. Biographical criticism of the short story, “Border”, is based on Thomas King’s life, thoughts as well as experience. It relates the story to King’s intentions...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

... Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood The main character in Atwood’s’ book, Snowman is sleeping on a tree while he is covered himself in an unusually dirty bed sheet. He is trying so hard to survive the difficult times which are going on in the society. He claims that the world has totally changed, and everything has gone wrong. Under the tree, there are strange animals that are called pigeons and wolvogs prowl, these animals are just creatures that are hybrid, and they were created by the human beings. The human beings have managed to wipe out the old generation of animals and their species. The spoilt tower blocks can be seen not so far away in the pleeblands. Then further away, he can see the wrecked compounds where the learned and elite...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Imagery and Symbolism in Surfacing by Margaret Atwood

... to the aforementioned, this paper will give a detailed analysis of how Margaret Atwood makes use of Imagery and Symbolism in her book, “Surfacing” to succeed in creating a desired image in the mind of the readers. Types of Imagery and Symbolism use in the book American Expansion Atwood uses American images showing how Americans were invading and ruining Canada. The Americans put missile silos, filled the villages with tourist cabins, and left trashes everywhere. Atwood describes the growth and expansion of American as the cause of cultural infiltration. The narrator of the story calls Americans having a brain disease, relating their identity with behavior disregard rather than of nationalism. According to Atwood, an American is someone who...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

..."Context is all" (Margaret Atwood). Does this mean there is no such thing as truth In her famous novel The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood makes an interesting and essential pronouncement which has been debated and discussed in the field of knowledge for several decades and has vital application in the Theory of Knowledge - "Context is all." An important subsequent question of this important statement by Atwood which has great bearing in an understanding as well as analysis of the major knowledge issues is whether this declaration means that there is no such thing as truth. While attempting to answer the question, it is important to realize the terms context and truth. Whereas the term context may refer to something that encircles...
8 Pages(2000 words)Book Report/Review

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

...Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has been celebrated as a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction and speculative fiction and the novelist offers a fascinating vision of the modern society which is fundamentally knocked over by a theocratic revolution. One of the most significant aspects of the novel is the effectiveness of the novelist in exploring crucial themes such as women in suppression and the various means by which they achieve agency. It is the quality of the themes dealt with in the novel which makes the piece one of the most powerful and most widely read novels in the recent times. In the novel, Atwood tells the story of Offred, a Handmaid who is separated from her husband...
1 Pages(250 words)Book Report/Review

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

...John Q. Doe English 344 8 May 2000 Annotated Bibliography Dancygier, Barbara. "Narrative Anchors and the Processes of Story Construction: The Case of Margaret Atwoods The Blind Assassin." Style 41.2 (2007): 133-152. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Feb. 2012. This article is relevant to the topic because it examines the use of narrative anchors as a method that Atwood employs to achieve coherence in her story. The article provides quality evidence of understanding how the different levels create a coherent whole. Barbara Dancygier is a credible author. She is a cognitive linguist serving as a professor for The University of British Columbia. In addition to her credibility as a Ph.D. in linguistics, Dancygier has published peer...
3 Pages(750 words)Annotated Bibliography

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

...John Q. Doe English 344 8 May 2000 Structural Complexity and Its Effect on the Reader in Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin I. Introduction – The Blind Assassin is a structurally complex novel by Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. The novel contains three narrative threads that all revolve around the protagonist, Iris Chase. However, because of the narrative complexity of the work, the reader does not realize that Iris is the narrator of all three threads until the end of the novel. II. Focus- The structural complexity of the novel manipulates the reader’s perception of narrative and how an author unfolds her narrative. III. The first effect of the structural complexity of the novel is that it creates a high degree of suspense by use...
2 Pages(500 words)Book Report/Review

English 103 - The Respendent Quetzal by Margaret Atwood

... Essay: English 103 Topic: The Resplendent Quetzal by Margaret Atwood- the portrayal of North American tourists in Mexico The locale described in the story “The Resplendent Quetzal.” By Margaret Atwood relates to the ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico. Now that place is “overrun with big-hatted American tourists and gold toothed Mexican guides.” (Atwood, n. p.)The tourists do not fail to visit an ancient Mayan sacrificial well. The marriage relationship of Edward and Sarah is strained, and the Mayan ruins symbolize what remains of their marriage. In order to find a solution to their plight, both go on a vacation to Mexico with the hope that something tangible...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King for FREE!

Contact Us