Self Expression: a Controlled Freedom Essay

1189 WordsDec 13, 20135 Pages
Taylor Mullen Buljan Eng 300 2013, September 27 Self-Expression: A Controlled Freedom I chose to base my essay off of Christine Leong’s Being A Chink. The reason I chose Leong’s writing is because much like how people tried to bring her down and humiliate her because of her race; I also have dealt with similar treatment. It was not because of my race, however, but because of the way that I chose to look. Things like my hair, the clothes I wore, the music I liked, and just the overall style I chose to express myself through then and now. So I sympathize with Leong because I can relate to, and understand the feeling of having people try to beat you down mentally. In Being A Chink, Leong talks about being part of an Asian family running a business in a predominately Caucasian suburban town, and about an experience she had while working at her fathers Chinese restaurant. While cleaning the restaurant one morning, she finds a letter with the word chink written on it. She goes on to tell the reader how he had felt hurt and angry that someone would use such a hateful word to demean and belittle her father. Leong then sheds a different kind of light on the word, and how it was used much differently at a later point in her life. Having moved to New York City eight years after her encounter with the letter, the word was used much less frequently and in new ways. New York had a much larger Asian population; so chink was used in a casual, endearing way between her and her friends, and among family. The main idea of her writing in this piece is that we as a people, no matter what race, sex, or gender we are, shouldn’t let a word label us, or be harmful, and make us feel lesser of a human being than we are. Instead, we should take those words, and render them harmless by giving them our own meanings. My sophomore year of high school is when I

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