A Good Fall Analysis Of Transnational Imigrants English 2 A Good Fall: Transnational Immigrants

976 words - 4 pages

Breton Cameron
Mr. Bowsher
English 110
24 February, 2019
A Good Fall: Struggles of Transnational Immigrants
It is a misconception that moving to the United States means life will be easy and
promising. In A Good Fall by Ha Jin, many of these stories share a common idea of the struggles
between the past and present which leads to disequilibrium. Many of these characters are tied to
their original origin; having left China, while not yet having fully entered American society. In
Children as Enemies, the narrator is in conflict over the family’s choice to assimilate due to the
demands of the American present. He is especially resistant to the conformity embraced by his
own grandchildren. In An English Professor, we notice the internal conflict after the narrator has
made one fatal mistake. Once things are resolved, the extreme highs and lows become more
apparent. In Shame, Censorship in China prevents a professor from an authentic education while
one student will have one that is legitimate. This professor must give up any hope of continuing
the scholarship he loves. These individuals face disequilibrium of the past and the present,
familial obligation and personal aspirations. Throughout the narrative, many of these characters
share a struggle between the past and present, which leads to a disequilibrium of family and
relationships, often characteristic of transnational immigrants.
In “Children as Enemies”, we see a family in conflict over the children’s names. There is
conflict between high value of past traditions versus the demands of the American present, which
creates disequilibrium. A grandfather disagrees with his young grandchildren announcing their
wish to change their names to something “American” in order to blend in. The grandfather feels
that their old names are tied to their Chinese culture, therefore cutting ties with the family line
would be great disrespect to their ancestors. There is disequilibrium between past and present;
the narrator has placed high value on family tradition while he cannot deal with the assimilation
the children have taken part in. He is also upset by the parent’s supporting of this decision. The
narrator feels obliged to point out the faults in his daughter in law, letting them “break away
from the family tree” in disregard to their family and culture. Not only is the grandfather upset
by the children’s names, but he is also upset by the parents who are not enforcing their cultural
and family values. This creates conflict between the present and the past; he narrator is unhappy
with his family’s decision to abandon their Chinese culture and replace it with American-ness.
In “An English Professor”, Rusheng teng has made a critical mistake. This leads to
disequilibrium within the narrator, and we begin to notice these internal conflicts after Rusheng
Teng applies for tenure at a teaching college. Conflict occurs when Rusheng notices a flaw in his
teaching file, that reads “respectly yours”...

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