The Hybrid Status of Immigrants
Every human being belongs to a unique culture, acquiring certain traits and qualities that are inculcated into him or her by the tradition into which the individual is born. …
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When a person happens to live in another community, which has different characteristics than the one he or she is born into, the individual becomes forced to accept some traits of that community and thus assumes a mixed personality. Immigrants, who migrate from their nation of origin to another country in the pursuit of education, job opportunities or business purposes, hence will become hybrids as they latently possess the characteristics of their original culture and absorb some aspects of the new culture. While this transformation has its rewards, it plunges them into a state of belonging neither here nor there and forces them to live between two cultures and worlds. The essays, “Mother Tongue,” by Amy Tan and, “To the Border,” by Richard Rodriguez, deftly illustrate the torment of immigrants as they deal with the consequences and dangers of living between worlds. Amy Tan dwells on the issues that language creates for an average immigrant in the new land, where he or she migrates to. Most of the times either they are unable to understand the mechanics of the new language or they cannot completely eschew the nuances of their original language and its cultural impacts. Tan, from her personal experience show that the people in America look down on immigrants, who are not capable of speaking the language as the natives do and hardly listen to them or assist them. Her mother, who speaks “broken or fractured English” in the US, confronts a lot of problems because she cannot converse with the natives in a befitting style (Tan, p.2). Her stockbroker ignores her demands and delays sending her the check because she is not able to talk to him properly.
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