The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Analysis Essay

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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Analysis I chose to write my paper on The Spirit Catches You and You Fall, written by Anne Fadiman, because I found the issues raised in this book very interesting, particularly the clash of cultures which led to Lia’s tragic circumstance. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall is Anne Fadiman’s first novel after starting her writing career at Harvard. She received several awards for this book including a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction, and was also selected as a “Best Book of the Year” by several publications including People and Newsday. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall is a true story about a Hmong immigrant family from Laos living in Merced California. The…show more content…
The Hmong culture goes back thousands of years. The Hmong’s history is littered with battles, to which they always fought or migrated somewhere new, refusing to accept assimilation or persecution. The majority of these battles came with the Chinese who referred to the Hmong as barbarians. The Chinese wanted to rule over them while the Hmong bitterly defended their civil liberties and freedom, in the end just wanting to be left alone. Eventually the Hmong would migrate to Indochina to flee the Chinese, settling in lands no one else wanted in search of peace. The French would take control of Indochina soon after, giving the Hmong another foe to deal with. The hearty Hmong showed their worth again, eventually being awarded special status by the French government. At this time the Hmong finally had a few peaceful decades until the events which led them to America. The history of the Hmong shows us several things about them that directly led to many of the clashes the Lee’s had with Lia’s doctors. The Hmong do not like to take orders, they are not intimidated easily, and they are rarely convinced that another culture is superior to their

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