Chinese Immigrants in the United States Essay Example


In the excerpt from Double Face by Amy Tan she describes the struggle that immigrants face with their Americanized children. She was raised by two Chinese immigrants and bases her stories off personal issues that her and her parents faced in America. In Double Face she describes the feeling a immigrant mother feels when her only wish, to raise her child with both American and Chinese cultures, fail. In the story, Tan states that in America, children are not able to be a part of both cultures and are pushed to become Americanized. Her viewpoint of America is correct because it is hard to find a balance in between cultures when one is like a straight path and the other is a curvy road with many detours.

In Double Face, Amy Tan states her opinion about how growing up in America for an immigrant child is hard. She believes that once you're in America then it is hard to hold on to your traditions in a place where traditions are changing all the time. She feels this way because as a child she gave up her mother's dream of becoming a Neurosurgeon and became a fictional writer and she knows what it is like to battle to become one or the other. She is justified in her opinion because she herself grew up as a child of an immigrant and as stated in her early childhood biography, she "Struggled with her parents desire to hold on to Chinese tradition and her desire to become more Americanized".

The Differences Between American Characteristics and Chinese Characteristics

Throughout the story Amy Tan describes the differences between American characteristics and Chinese characteristics. She describes American characteristics as " In America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you" (Tan 9). In this quote she describes America more lenient and how if you are raised a certain way, you are not forced to keep living that way and can become your own person. In her story she describes Chinese culture as you have social and personal rules to follow. The Chinese characteristics she describes include listening to your parents, hiding your feelings, not going for easy challenges, and that Chinese thinking is the best type of thinking. It is quite the opposite of the American characteristics. These characteristics relate to American circumstances because the American characteristics allow the immigrant children to grow up as their own person and make their own future instead of it being made up for them. Both American and Chinese characteristics involve the kids working hard to achieve their goals.

Many people would say it is the fault of the parent that the kids were Americanized and that they didn't push their kids hard enough to be apart of their culture. While some of the fault may fall on the parent, there are many more reasons why the statement is wrong. In America, people are more open minded about things and people, and are taught they can be who they want to be, no matter the circumstance you were brought up in, while in China most aren't allowed to move classes and are stuck. The problem is no to be blamed on the parent, but on the place where they make it hard to be in two different cultures at the same time.


In conclusion, Amy Tan's argument about America is correct. She faced the same thing as a child growing up and many others like her have faced similar conflicts. Kids aren't able to be apart of two different cultures at the same time and that should be changed.


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