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Journeys Journey Essay Research Paper A Lifetime

Journeys Journey Essay, Research Paper

A Lifetime of Journeys Journey is an important theme found in Asian American

works. Although journey, by travel from one place to another is a common form of

journey, the journey through life in search of success is also an important

theme. In Asian American Literature, an anthology by Shawn Wong, who has been

recognized for his works ofpublished poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews there

are many references to journeys. Why does journey play such an important part of

the lives of Asian Americans? What kinds of journeys does the literature of

Asian Americans depict? What is the significance of journey in Asian American

pieces? Journey is important to Asian Americans, because like so many other

cultures, they too, are in search of a better way of life. The ?American

Dream?, is what everyone desires to achieve. The opportunity to make a good

living and the freedom that America claims to offer is enough to entice anyone.

?The Blossoming of Bongbong? in Asian American Literature, by Jessica

Hagedon, who is from the Philippines and came to the United States in 1962 and

has published work, is about a character named Antonio Gargazulio-Duarte who

makes his way to America in search of the ?American Dream?. Antonio, also

known as Bongbong, wanted to realize his dreams and felt that he would never

achieve them in Manila. ? Bongbong finally left Manila on a plane for San

Mobley-May 2 Francisco. He was deathly afraid? (Wong 203). Even though

Bongbong was fearful of what he might find in America, he was determined to go

after the opportunities he sought. Journeys take many forms in the writings,

plays, movies and art of Asian Americans. Journeys are taken from native

countries to America, from one place to another in America, and the life spent

trying to succeed or actually succeeding in their dreams. For instance, in Cathy

Song?s poem ? The Youngest Daughter? it says ? She knows I am not to be

trusted, even now planning my escape? (381). The child in this poem desires

escape from herself and her family, especially her mother. Then in the play

?The Music Lessons?, by Wakako Yamauchi, who is a second generation Japanese

American woman, she describes the suffering, hardships and the adapting that the

first generation and successive generations of women from Japan had endured in

the United States beginning in the early 1900s. Aki Sakata, who is a fifteen

year old female character in the play wants a better life for herself. She is

fearful she will endure the same type of hardship her mother was experiencing.

Aki tells her mother ? I know about them and I don?t want to stick around

and become the kind of woman you are? (445). Aki believes that a much older

man then herself would provide her opportunity to escape the hard work of

farming that her mother must do to provide for her and her two brothers. Another

form of journey takes place in the movie Sister, Double Happiness, written and

directed by Mina Shun, when Jade who yearns to become an actress rebels against

her family?s morals and traditions. Her wishes to become an actress are

extremely Mobley-May 3 unacceptable by her father. Both her parents were

constantly trying to persuade her to explore something else. Jade struggles to

find her identity and to fit in. It was unacceptable in this family to move from

home before being married and if you did, as in Jade?s decision to do so, you

were disowned and denied a return home. Jade left her family to seek out her

dream and her father took her house key from her, so that she would not be able

to come home. Asian American?s Literature depicts many forms of journey and

they are similar to one another, yet they are individual journeys for

themselves. Journey is significant to Asian American literature, because of the

desire to succeed and fit in. This is something that I think everyone wants,

whether they are Asian, Hispanic, African American or of any other cultural

background. I know that I want to succeed and I want to fit in some where. Goals

are important and one must make a journey if they are to reach their goal. The

journey does not have to be a physical move from one place to another, it can be

a journey of the mind, but indeed a journey must be made. My step-grandmother,

who is from the Philippines made several journeys throughout her life and

continues to make journeys. She was educated in the Philippines where she

received her teaching degree. She came to the United States where she taught for

over thirty years at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. It was

at this school that she received fulfillment in teaching Asian minorities. Her

teaching career ended shortly after a shooting that occurred on the play yard

where she was Mobley-May 4 scheduled to be on yard duty that day, but had

switched with another teacher. This act of violence, that was undisputedly

directed at Asians, was her sign that she would retire. It shook our whole

family up, that this could or would ever happen right here in our very own town.

She now travels the world seeing as many countries and places a year that she

can with her husband, who is Caucasian. The difference she made to the children

in that school took nearly a lifetime and I see the joy it has brought to her

life. Journeys take many forms and it is an important message conveyed in Asian

American literature, because it is something we all must endure to reach our

goals. I hope to make many journeys in my life down the road of success, just as

those of a minority background do. Journeys, however, are not always for the

best and they do not always turn out how they were planned, but it is the

journey which makes us stronger and enables us to learn from our mistakes. The

message of journey in the Asian American works.