The Professional and Cultural Development Among the Two
Parents are whom we love, respect and obey. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to raise a child. Each parent of course, has his or her own responsibility whether it is in terms of jobs or as a parent figure. In Chang-Rae Lee’s essay, “Coming Home Again”, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s essay, “Rhode Island”, they both mention their parents excessively throughout their essays. However, the two pairs of parents share both similar and different characteristics. All in all, Lee and Lahiri emphasize how their parents maintained similar yet somewhat different lives in a foreign country yet do not violate their own traditional customs at the same time.
In Lee’s essay, “Coming Home Again”, he suggests his parents’ career as a way to introduce them. He implies that his parents immigrated to America from South Korea. Lee’s father was a psychiatrist who was an excellent “student in medical school” when he was young (7). Although he achieves excellence in school, “because of his Asian face and imperfect English, he was “working two times the American doctors”” (7). Lee’s father encounters tremendous obstacles in order to become a successful doctor. On the other hand, Lee’s mother did not succeed with such a professional career. She was mainly the cook in the house but back in South Korea, “she had been a star, the point guard for the national high school team that once won the all-Asia championships” (6-7). So Lee’s mother was once popular when she was a teenager. As a cook in the house, she upholds the important responsibility of preparing “a certain meal to welcome [Lee] home”, whom she sent away to Exeter for a better education (9). Overall, Lee’s introduction of his parents build up an important effect about how hard they have worked.
As Lahiri writes her essay, “Rhode Island”, she highlights her parents’ experience when living in a foreign country. Lahiri’s parents are Indian, but she was born in London. The Lahiri family came from Cambridge, Massachusetts in the summer of 1970 to Rhode Island. Lahiri’s father “dedicated himself … to a job he loves” as a librarian in the University of Rhode Island for nearly four decades (146). Lahiri’s father’s passion for his job is unmeasurable. Not only did Lahiri’s father uphold a professional career, but Lahiri’s mother also dedicated herself in a school. After Lahiri’s sister is a teenager, Lahiri’s mother directs “a day care and also working as a classroom assistant at South Road Elementary School” (150). However, she also encounters hatred moments in school. After a decade of her working in the school, “she started to receive anonymous hate mail” (150). This mail mainly consists of negative messages including, “go back to India” and “many people here do not like to see your face” (150). Lahiri’s mother had a rough time when facing all these dislikes from anonymous people. Yet, she was still able to...