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The Struggle to be an AllAmerican Girl

by: Elizabeth Wong

English I

stoically indifferently; calmly kowtow show respect by kneeling and touching the ground with the forehead ideographs written symbols representing objects or ideas chaotic completely confused in total disorder

Rhetorical Elements
Audience who the story is intended to be read or heard by PurposeWhat is the writer saying about the subject? What is the big picture (theme)? Tone shifta change in the tone of a work Hyperboleexaggeration (typically to create humor, not meant to be taken literally)

What is the main idea (purpose/theme)of this selection? Abandoning your culture will lead to regret.

supporting details details that support the main idea of a selection List the best supporting detail for the main idea.
Sadly, I still am (Wong 139).

To whom is this passage addressed? The narrators audience seems to be the American people since she wants so desperately to be like Americans throughout the selection and states at the end that At last, I was one of you; I wasnt one of them (Wong 139).

From what point of view is this written? 1st person, Elizabeth Wong

Objectivity an unbiased account that relies mainly on facts Subjectivity an account that is based on emotions and feelings, not necessarily on factual information Is this selection more objective or subjective? Why? This selection is more subjective because it is based on her personal emotions, feelings, and experiences, not on factual information.

Bias prejudiced, close-minded. What bias exists in this story?

The bias that exists is from the view point of the writer. She is Chinese American and reveals the prejudice she felt against her Chinese heritage as a young girl because of her desire to fit in with other Americans. Her denouncement of this decision at the end creates a tone shift and shows a rejection of her initial bias.

memoir a personal account of a shared event essay a writers thoughts and feelings about a certain topic Nonfiction writing based on facts, real events, and real people

Study Guide Selection Questions #1

Where does the narrator go with her brother everyday at 5 P.M.? The narrator and her brother go to the Chinese school on Yale Street.

How do they feel about having to go? What evidence supports your conclusion?

They do not want to go, but no amount of kicking, screaming, or pleading could change their mothers mind (Wong 138).

What is their purpose for going? Their mother wants them to go to the school in order to learn the language of their heritage.

What hyperbole does the narrator used to describe the principal? To the narrator, the principal is a stern man who sways back and forth on his heels with his impatient, twitching hands clasped behind his back. She uses the expression repressed maniacal child killer to humorously convey her childhood fear of her strict principal.

Describe the sensory details used to describe the smell of the auditorium. The auditorium smells like Chinese medicine, an imported faraway mustiness, ancient mothballs, or dirty closets.

What scents does the narrator prefer? What does this preference reveal about her? The narrator favors crisp new scents like soft French perfume that her American teacher wears at the public school. This reveals that she sees her culture as stale and inferior to the superiority of American culture.

How did the students greet their teachers every day? Why? The students practice politeness by kowtowing and saying Sing san ho, or How are you, teacher? whenever the teacher entered the room (Wong 139). This showed great respect.

How does the narrator feel about the Chinese language and her grandmother? She is embarrassed by her grandmother and the language of her culture. She describes her grandmothers humor as raunchy and that her language is quick, loud, and unbeautiful (Wong 138).

What does the narrators view of her native Chinese culture reveal about her view of American culture? The narrator seems to view American culture as superior to her Chinese culture. To her, the Chinese culture and language is too common and lacked the beauty and refinement of other languages like French and English.

What is pidgin speech? Pidgin speech describes when the narrators mother tries to speak English, but keeps slipping Chinese words or phrasings into her conversation.

Why do you think that their mother wants them to learn the Chinese language and culture?

She wants them to be proud of their heritage and where they come from.

Explain what the narrator means by the metaphor a cultural divorce (Wong 139)?

She was allowed to separate herself from the Chinese culture completely in order to immerse herself in the culture of America.

Now for the really important part

Find one literary device the author uses to create her purpose. Write the following: the device, find a quote showing it, and explain how the device is effective in helping the author achieve her purpose.

Elizabeth Wong uses ________ to prove _____________. Quote (Doc). This shows that