On Coming Home Essay

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PROPERTY OF SHAGEENTH SANDRAKUMAR UPLOAD FOR SHARING PURPOSES In the essay Coming Home Again by Chang-Rae Lee, the author tells of his deep connection with his mother through food. Through Lee’s eyes, his mother is a woman who he deeply loves and respects. She is very involved in his life. As close as she is involved in his life, the author suggests that he and his mother are never on the same level though. Lee’s mother wants to give him an edge in life as an American by sending him to a boarding school in New Hampshire. However, Lee’s mother loses the close relationship she has with the author. The author, who is oblivious to his mother’s feelings at the time when he was away at Exeter, reevaluates at the end of the essay whether becoming successful in an American society is worth the time lost between his mother and his Korean culture. Through native Korean foods, such as “Kimchi”, and the simple preparation of the recipe “Kalbi,” the author feels as if he can truly relate to his mother and their culture. Lee conveys these ideas through the use of first person point-of-view, symbolism, and imagery. By using first person point of view, the author makes the reader feel the bond between him and his mother on a more profound level. The author uses point of view most effectively when he describes the actual process of preparing food. “I would enter the kitchen quietly and stand beside her, my chin lodging upon the point of her hip. Peering through the crook of her arm, I beheld the movements of her hands”(450). The first person point of view gives the reader a sense of being in the same room witnessing the food preparation, which then in terms leads to the understanding of the author’s strong feelings behind cooking and his mother. Symbolism plays an important role in this essay. The author includes the procedures of making the “Kalbi” to symbolize numerous

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