Summary Of Eva Hoffman's Lost In Translation

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Human beings pursue progression. Progression can be defined as a movement toward a more advanced state: for humans, that state is reaching one's personal aspirations. It is human nature for one to fight for his/her ambitions, whether they be boundless dreams or simple desires. Whatever a person's drive may be, it is the experiences of life coupled with one's ambitions that ultimately shape one's progression – experience provokes adaptation which breeds advancement. Eva Hoffman, author of the book Lost in Translation, tells the story of her experiences relocating as a Polish emigrant to Vancouver, Canada with nostalgia of Krakow gnawing at her sanity. Shocked into silence and unable to communicate her true sorrows, Eva sole ambition is to return…show more content…
Eva is able to power her acclimation with memories of harsh experiences as a foreigner to English society - that maturity teaches her to aspire toward greatness. Because had Eva not experienced living as a Polish immigrant in Canada, she would not have been able to transform herself into such an extremely successful and prosperous citizen. This does not mean that her life in Poland was non-beneficial – it was the adversity of living as an immigrant in Canada that taught her the adversity necessary to achieve true success. When Eva and her sister Alina are officially incorporated into the Vancouverian schooling system with their respective English names, she writes, “The twist in our names takes them a tiny distance from us – but it's a…show more content…
Eva's father, an inspiration worthy of superhero status, battles poverty through a combination of street-smarts and chance, but when prompted about his insecurity about his financial situation, he responds, “I want my peace of mind back,” he says. “I've always had peace of mind” (128). Depressed and angry, Eva's father is in charge of a rundown used furniture shop with customers rare and far between. The one thing that startles him is the lack of 'peace of mind', yet what 'peace of mind' he did have was a lack of regard for his life: his Polish line of business was life-threatening with a low payout. Eva is shocked when her father reveals this, and although she feels similarly, she realizes that this mantra is the incorrect way to approach English society. In this new world, peace of mind is bad. Peace of mind, no matter how dangerous, could help a person feel safe and at home in Poland, but can indifference and poverty in American society. So, how does Eva counter these fears? “... there is another motive driving me as well, an extra edge to my ambition – an edge that wasn't there before... I know how unprotected my family has become; I know I'd better do very well – or else... I have to make myself a steel breastplate of achievement and good grades, so that I'll be able to get out – and get in, so that I can gain entry into the social system from where I stand, on a precarious

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