The Struggle To Be An All-American Girl

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Velez2 Jennifer Velez Comp107 Miss Atzeni 3/22/2012 The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl By Elizabeth Wong In Elizabeth Wong’s writing on how she struggled to be an “All-American” girl, she expresses the strict religion and culture brought on by her single-parent raising mother, when all she only wanted was to fit in with American culture. While Elizabeth and her brother wanted to play childhood games, such as ghost hunt, with their friends their mother was stern on the importance of learning the language of their heritage. She would walk them seven long blocks to Chinese school, no matter how often they pleaded with her to not attend. Elizabeth wasn’t fond of the smell of the school or that the learning was restricted. She felt that American school would be a better fit for her. Once Elizabeth got older she was given permission to stop attending Chinese school. Elizabeth’s struggles with her own heritage and the heritage of the country she lived in tore her. She so desperately wanted to fit into the American society, as she states “I thought of myself as multicultural. I preferred tacos to egg rolls; I enjoyed Cinco de Mayo more than Chinese New Year.” (Wong ,24) She favored the crisp new smells such as “the soft French perfume that my American teacher wore” (Wong ,24) over the mothball smell that the Chinese school held. Elizabeth liked the rewards she received for speaking English so well. Her language was a “source of embarrassment”. (Wong, 24) She expresses “When I spoke English, people nodded at me, smiled sweetly, said encouraging words. Even the people of my country would cluck and say I’d do well in life.” (Wong, 24) Did Elizabeth succeed in feeling an “All-American Girl”? “After two years of writing with a moc but and reciting words with multiples of meaning, I finally was granted a cultural divorce. At last, I was one of you; I wasn’t

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