Bridge Book Review

1638 Words7 Pages
“I know now that once I longed to be white. How? You ask, Let me tell you the ways (Nellie Wong, 7).” In the poem, “When I Was Growing Up,” Wong expresses how she wanted to be white. This issue is one that has plagued the minds of non-White Americans for apparently a long time. Even today in 2011 there are people from different origins that wish to be white; this issue was raised in 1980 in this book, and still is prevalent today. Wong goes on in this poem and describes the ways in which she wished she were white. Furthermore, she explained the reasons to why it would be better to be white such as this line refers: “when I was growing up, my sisters with fair skin got praised for their beauty, and in the dark I fell further, crushed between high walls (Wong, 7).” To say the least, Wong does not “sugar coat” this phenomenon just to be politically correct in addressing it. The issue, as is all of the issues addressed in this book, is attacked head on. By starting and ending the poem similarly with the phrase, “I know now that once I longed to be white…..” Wong emphasizes the psychological effects that haunted her as a child. The examples in this poem are so strong that one could help not but pay attention and try to learn their true meaning. At the end of the poem Wong closes with the line “Haven’t I told you enough (Wong, 8)?” With this statement, there is a sense of aggravation and frustration shown. I think this is due to her anger and being fed up with being the bridge, as are all of the ladies that have hands in this book. They are tired of being the only connection between others and the understanding of their cultures. As hinted at throughout the book, other people should take it among themselves to learn about others. Racial oppression of one race to another is not the only oppression this book addresses as Mary Hope Lee shows in the poem “On
Open Document