Lost In Eva Hoffman's Lost In Translation

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For most of us, language is mostly invisible, as it is unnoticeable in our everyday activities. Eva Hoffman tells us, with her vivid memory of her traumatic experience, how leaving her Paradise behind to go to this whole New World meant nothing but sadness to her. Unlike her, my memory of moving from France to the US has not been as traumatic, as I was not leaving behind a country in peril. Through this analysis of Lost In Translation, my aim will be to discuss and reflect upon three apparent phases that the author went through; from being a lost child in this new country, to a questioning women who begins to adapt, and finally an accomplished woman who finds herself by seeking answers and more questions. As I discuss Eva Hoffman’s experience,…show more content…
If I’m to write about the present, I have to write in the language of the present, even if it’s not the language of the self.” (Hoffman, p.121) Writing in English demonstrates her acceptance of having to make that extra effort into adapting, as she quickly understood it was her the immigrant that had to conform. Eva Hoffman’s new action represents the strength that symbolizes her new transition of accepting that new literacy side of her where words would have different meanings. By moving towards adapting and understanding this new world, she is trying to find ways to feel like her normal American self even though English is not her native tongue. By this simple act, she begins to realize how she connects with the language in ways that she was not ready to do before. Eva Hoffman Finally understands that she has to invent herself and as a friend tells her in Lost in Translation: “This is a society in which you are who you think you are. Nobody gives you your identity here, you have to reinvent yourself every day” (Hoffman, p.160). Like her friend mentions, in my experience the American society dictates who you are going to be in this world. I perceive everyday life in America as more difficult then when I was in France. Pleasing the society and inventing your new self is crucial in being able to adapt in this more modern, practical,…show more content…
She demonstrates her well gifted writing skills by writing down her emotions and put every feeling into words. Which has spoken to me greatly as well as another immigrants. Coming to terms with being different than people around her gave her the ability to grow as a person and as a writer. She is now no longer a lost little girl who was not prepared for this world, she asked herself questions and now is at peace with this notion of immigrant and being different. Like the end of her autobiography a coworker editor in chief asked her: “’Where did you learn how to be a critic?' … 'At Harvard, I guess,' I answered. 'No,' he said, 'there's something else.' 'I suppose it's that I'm an immigrant,' I said. 'Ah yes,' he said. 'That must be it.'" (Hoffman, p.227). Having embraced my multicultural personality made me realize how it is important to keep and maintain our roots that define where we were born and what our culture is. It is equally important to adapt and adopt where we have been, as it creates a unique personality that sees the world differently then most people. Eva Hoffman’s experience has given her perspective on the past, the present and the future beyond just speaking another

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