Iron And Silk Essay, Research Paper
In the book Iron and Silk, written by Mark Salzman as his point of view, is all about China. Throughout the book, Mark experiences many differences between the Chinese culture and his own American culture. Chinese people want to save face by doing some weird things. First example, kissing in China over the age of two is embarrassing for both children and parents. Mark finds Teacher Lui telling him a secret. Every night Teacher Lui kisses his older children when they are asleep. In the United States kissing your child is not an embarrassment to anyone. No matter what age the children are, Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are comfortable to kiss the people they love. This Chinese culture is bad because the family can not show their loves by simply kissing each other; it is harder to express the love in any other ways. Secondly, Pan practice English diligently everyday so that he can show the progress by reading out loud the sentences to his American friends. He put a lot of pressure on himself because I didn t want him (Mark) to lose face. (89) He saved Mark s face by being able to read those sentences correctly in front of his guests. If he put too much pressure onto himself, he might end up mentally stressed and not able to learn anything. Lastly, Not allowing your children to the table for dinner when guests arrive seems different for the American culture. Yet, in China it is normal because they do not want their family youths to lose face in public. When Mark went to Mr. Gong’s apartment, he realized that the children were not sitting at the table with everyone else, which he found strange. He politely asked Mr. Gong why they weren’t; he told him that it would be rude. Most of the time in America it is expected that your children are sitting at the table, using there best of manners and showing respect for the adults. The children would never be told to leave the room, while a guest arrived. In America guest find it pleasure to sit with the entire family. Mark found China has unique ways of living that Americans are not used to like. More importantly, the save face cultures actually destroy the family members relationship; therefore those cultures should be changed.