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Analysis of The Chinese in All of Us by Richard Rodriguez

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Rodriguez is right in his reasoning because he grew up in America, born to a Mexican family. He lived through all of the cultural amalgamations in the US. There are no hard and fast rules for cultures anymore. There is no culture after all, but the culture of change and evolution. Rodriguez is right that there is no multiculturalism, it is just a haze. He astoundingly explains this to an interviewer who asks him if he considers himself as Hispanic or American, and he replies Chinese. That is what he grew up with; a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

He is born to Mexican parents and goes to an American school (where he’ s shown to speak ‘ proper’ English) and has Chinese neighbors. The ‘ proper’ English even teaches him how to say his own name as the school teacher writes his name on the board and reads it out loud and asks him to follow along, so that the whole class gets familiar with his name and he gets to say his name in a certain accent; the ‘ proper’ accent, this is what the culture (or multicultural) is all about.

However, certain things remain specific to certain cultures, for instance, Asian culture is very different from the Western culture; “ Many Asian cultures have distinct conceptions of individuality that insist on the fundamental relatedness of individuals to each other. The emphasis is on attending to others, fitting in, and harmonious interdependence with them. ” (Markus and Kitayama, 1991) But there is something in the world that brings together different cultures, the melting pot. The author frequently uses the term melting pot and prefers it over common culture or multi-culture.

The term melting pot represents the trend in culture in a better way. The author has introduced two different views about the ‘ melting pot theory’ , one is positive while the other has some negativity attached to it. The author says that the melting pot has changes people. When someone goes into it, their identity is lost. An African will not remain African after the melting pot treatment.  

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