Tan And Alexie's Smoke Signals: A Comparative Analysis

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Tan’s Joy Luck Club and Alexie’s Smoke Signals communicate the racialized struggles that some communities face when reconciling individual and cultural identities in America’s new racial paradigm and the difficulty of transcending stereotypes. While Tan’s Chinese women struggle to assimilate and Alexie’s Native men struggle to maintain Indian identities in a segregated community, stereotypes nevertheless frustrate their efforts. Protagonists in Tan and Alexie’s stories address the inadequacy of language to communicate family histories and maintain tradition under assimilative counterforces. While structural conditions dictate the character’s prospects for assimilation, the protagonists confront family histories and learn their identities link…show more content…
I also compare the assimilation process for Tan and Alexie’s protagonists to show America’s racial order is evolving from biracial to tri-racial; thus, American institutions differentially allow a races’ assimilation based on categorization as “honorary white” or “black.” I argue Native Americans remain politically, economically, and socially hypersegregated and fall victim to overt racisms more than Asian Americans, who are comparatively privileged due to economic stature and race. This analysis will compare the Native American and Asian American assimilation experiences, noting similarities and differences to elucidate wages of (honorary) whiteness. Moreover, this essay maintains racial/ethnic groups only assimilate to certain degrees; the question remains, at which points are assimilation boundaries drawn and how does this vary across race…show more content…
From above, aliens would not conceive racism as a free-floating ideology much like so many people have from ground perspective. By comparing and contrasting the two race-group’s differential objectives and ability to assimilate in the movies, the aliens would conceive America’s racialized social system as an organizing foundation where “economic, political, social, and ideological levels are all partially structured by the placement of actors in racial categories or races.” Based on this systemic perspective, the aliens would realize that because “honorary whites” and the “collective black” receive different social rewards on all levels, they develop different objective interests, symbolically represented by the characters’ different aspiration or distaste for assimilation. Moreover, the aliens would conceive stereotype as a product of racial ideology that functions to rationalize “a group’s true social position in the racialized system” based on material reality and ignorance. The aliens would observe stereotype from racialized differences of interest and patterns of behavior in their comparison of the racial groups in Joy Luck and Smoke Signals. From this

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