External Pressures from Cultural and/or Racial Tensions Which Affect the How Individuals Cohabitate and Determine Which Identity They Belong to. Essay

1845 WordsNov 6, 20128 Pages
Since Canada is a multicultural country that does not require you to give up or leave your own religion/ culture behind when you immigrate, there are many cultural and racial tensions involved for these immigrants and those they live with; in turn affecting the individual’s identity in many ways. From the stories of “Dancing”, “The Street” and “Ajax la-Bas” each protagonist experience a form of diasporic movement from their homelands to a foreign country. In “The Street” by Mordecai Richler, though born and breed in Montreal the protagonist originates from Galician shtetl. In “Ajax La-Bas” by Yeshim Ternar, the protagonist came from Turkey and moved to Montreal and in “Dancing” by Neil Bissoondath, the protagonist moves from Trinidad to Toronto. Most of these protagonists face the issue of who they are in terms of one set identity, while some of them have a difficult time figuring out whether they want to have one identity or a hyphenated identity. To earn this hyphenated identity the Canadians would have to accept the protagonists as Canadians first. While trying to cohabitate in this foreign country they have certain external pressures such as enemies, family and friends who make their decision more difficult through various different racial and cultural tensions and in the long run affecting the protagonist’s decision in figuring out which identity is best for them. “The Street” by Mordecai Richler illustrates a significant class structure where the Main is “… a dividing line, below are the French Canadians [,] above… the dreaded WASPS [and] on the Main itself there [are] Italians, Yugoslavians and Ukrainians, but they [do] not count as true gentiles.” (Richler, 1990) The WASPS are considered to be higher class folks. The Main racial tension in “The Street” is between the French Canadians and the Jewish. Though the Jewish boys fought with the French Canadians,

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