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All I Asking for Is My Body by Milton Murayama - Essay Example

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The lives of Kiyoshi Oyama, as depicted in Milton Murayama’s novel entitled All I Asking for Is My Body, and that of Carlos Bulosan in his semi-autobiographical work entitled America is in the Heart have remarkable similarities despite distinct disparities. …
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Download file to see previous pages The lives of Kiyoshi Oyama, as depicted in Milton Murayama’s novel entitled All I Asking for Is My Body, and that of Carlos Bulosan in his semi-autobiographical work entitled America is in the Heart have remarkable similarities despite distinct disparities. The writers of these literary works were both from Asian origins and have migrated to the United States as permanent residents. The experiences these writers shared through their works manifested the difficult lives and trials, not only as plantation workers and agricultural migrant laborers, but more so, due to their being of Asian descent trying to survive and be treated equitably in a foreign land. The essay hereby aims to proffer a comparative analysis of labor conditions given their racial and ethnical background and determine how these conditions shaped the formation of family and community ties in their respective social settings. The novel All I Asking for Is My Body was set in the sugar plantations of Hawaii and narrated through the point of view of Kiyoshi, the son of Japanese migrants. The plot of the story evolved in narrating the inhumane conditions and travails of plantation workers, predominantly of Asian background, who were subjected to long hours and given low wages with extremely poor living conditions. On the other hand, Bulosan’s America is in the Heart is told from the point of view of the author as an autobiography of his life. ...
On the other hand, Bulosan narrated his personal experiences in America is in the Heart from his personal background from the Philippines, were he was born (Alquiloza and Hirabayashi, par. 7). Murayama’s novel was told through Kiyoshi with clear inspiration from past experiences but with added details to enhance the plot, not necessarily containing direct analogies to personal life. Bulosan’s work, though delivered and narrated from personal experiences, were reviewed by various scholars are containing ambiguity and inconsistencies in terms of personal details, to wit: “the published literature on Bulosan's background and biography is not only quite sketchy for such a famous, pioneering, figure: his biography is also characterized by a number of key gaps that—depending on how you want to look at it—entail mysterious and fascinating ambiguities” (Alquizola and Hirabaashi,par. 2). The similarities in the plot and presentation of the labor condition as inhumane, cruel and discriminative was initially seen through the experiences of Kiyoshi as clearly explained by Chang in terms of dealing with “a specific variation of the ‘plantation mentality’, (defined) as the mental attitude of people who, subject to a contract-like agreement, maintain a self-deprecatory attitude and toil to the point of self-sacrifice, as they are caught up in the intricacy of social stratification under the colonial surroundings in Hawaii” (Chang, 158). In Bulosan’s work, Conejos revealed that “instead of finding the utopia on earth, Allos and other Filipinos are met with great amounts of hostility of racism and harsh, low paying jobs... he instead is exposed to the oppressive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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