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

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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…
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The immigrants by Margaret Atwood and Borders by Thomas King
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Download file to see previous pages 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.
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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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