Amy Tan Fish Cheeks Analysis

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In the last century, record numbers of immigrants, both legal and illegal, have created the diverse culture present in America today. One of the more convincing motives for immigrating into the United States is the idea of achieving the “American dream”; the belief that anyone through hard work and determination can become prosperous and live freely in America. In order to achieve this, most immigrants are encouraged to assimilate into American culture to have a chance at being successful. Assimilating into American culture does help immigrants achieve the “American dream” to an extent but often times causes immigrants to lose ties to cultural roots such as native language, practices and beliefs. First off, to properly answer this question…show more content…
Adopting American principles and practices lessens the gap between native and foreign born Americans and in turn makes becoming a part of American society much simpler. This is common with food and immigrants often mix both to create a sort of equal balance but do not always happen. Amy Tan exemplifies an event that can prompt immigrants to adopt American practices out of embarrassment for being different in her short story “Fish Cheeks”. Tan recounts one of the most embarrassing moments from her childhood where her family invites the boy that she likes and his family over for dinner and the family prepares Tan’s favorite Japanese cuisines but later is mortified because of the boy’s repulsion toward the meal. From personal experience, I have viewed examples of a happy medium by seeing year after year my family celebrate Thanksgiving-a holiday that is not celebrated in my Mexico where my mother is from- yet seeing a Thanksgiving turkey beside a plate of Veracruz styled tamales. To an extent, we also see how immigrant’s cultural practices and holidays become a part of American culture as well. The celebration of holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, the Chinese New Year and Cinco de Mayo wouldn’t be celebrated in America had it not been for immigrants bringing their cultures with them and keeping true to cultural practices. In a way, these holidays can sometimes lose some of their value when brought to America. Natives understand the reason for celebration and have a certain cultural pride behind the holidays that remind them so much of their home but can be viewed by other Americans simply as a reason to drink and party but the significance of the celebration means so much more for immigrants that have cultural ties to them. In these ways, both American and foreign cultures mend into this

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