JourneyA Lifetime of Journeys Journey is an important theme found in Asian Americanworks. Although journey, by travel from one place to another is a common form ofjourney, the journey through life in search of success is also an importanttheme. In Asian American Literature, an anthology by Shawn Wong, who has beenrecognized for his works ofpublished poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews thereare many references to journeys. Why does journey play such an important part ofthe lives of Asian Americans? What kinds of journeys does the literature ofAsian Americans depict? What is the significance of journey in Asian Americanpieces? Journey is important to Asian Americans, because like so many othercultures, they too, are in search of a better way of life. The “AmericanDream”, is what everyone desires to achieve.Order now
The opportunity to make a goodliving and the freedom that America claims to offer is enough to entice anyone. “The Blossoming of Bongbong” in Asian American Literature, by JessicaHagedon, who is from the Philippines and came to the United States in 1962 andhas published work, is about a character named Antonio Gargazulio-Duarte whomakes his way to America in search of the “American Dream”. Antonio, alsoknown as Bongbong, wanted to realize his dreams and felt that he would neverachieve them in Manila. ” Bongbong finally left Manila on a plane for SanMobley-May 2 Francisco. He was deathly afraid” (Wong 203).
Even thoughBongbong was fearful of what he might find in America, he was determined to goafter the opportunities he sought. Journeys take many forms in the writings,plays, movies and art of Asian Americans. Journeys are taken from nativecountries to America, from one place to another in America, and the life spenttrying to succeed or actually succeeding in their dreams. For instance, in CathySong’s poem ” The Youngest Daughter” it says ” She knows I am not to betrusted, even now planning my escape” (381). The child in this poem desiresescape from herself and her family, especially her mother. Then in the play”The Music Lessons”, by Wakako Yamauchi, who is a second generation JapaneseAmerican woman, she describes the suffering, hardships and the adapting that thefirst generation and successive generations of women from Japan had endured inthe United States beginning in the early 1900s.
Aki Sakata, who is a fifteenyear old female character in the play wants a better life for herself. She isfearful 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 aroundand become the kind of woman you are” (445). Aki believes that a much olderman then herself would provide her opportunity to escape the hard work offarming that her mother must do to provide for her and her two brothers. Anotherform of journey takes place in the movie Sister, Double Happiness, written anddirected by Mina Shun, when Jade who yearns to become an actress rebels againsther family’s morals and traditions. Her wishes to become an actress areextremely Mobley-May 3 unacceptable by her father.
Both her parents wereconstantly trying to persuade her to explore something else. Jade struggles tofind her identity and to fit in. It was unacceptable in this family to move fromhome before being married and if you did, as in Jade’s decision to do so, youwere disowned and denied a return home. Jade left her family to seek out herdream and her father took her house key from her, so that she would not be ableto come home. Asian American’s Literature depicts many forms of journey andthey are similar to one another, yet they are individual journeys forthemselves.
Journey is significant to Asian American literature, because of thedesire to succeed and fit in. This is something that I think everyone wants,whether they are Asian, Hispanic, African American or of any other culturalbackground. I know that I want to succeed and I want to fit in some where. Goalsare important and one must make a journey if they are to reach their goal. Thejourney does not have to be a physical move from one place to another, it can bea 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 andcontinues to make journeys. She was educated in the Philippines where shereceived her teaching degree. She came to the United States where she taught forover thirty years at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. It wasat this school that she received fulfillment in teaching Asian minorities. Herteaching career ended shortly after a shooting that occurred on the play yardwhere she was Mobley-May 4 scheduled to be on yard duty that day, but hadswitched with another teacher.
This act of violence, that was undisputedlydirected at Asians, was her sign that she would retire. It shook our wholefamily 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 shecan with her husband, who is Caucasian. The difference she made to the childrenin that school took nearly a lifetime and I see the joy it has brought to herlife.
Journeys take many forms and it is an important message conveyed in AsianAmerican literature, because it is something we all must endure to reach ourgoals. I hope to make many journeys in my life down the road of success, just asthose of a minority background do. Journeys, however, are not always for thebest and they do not always turn out how they were planned, but it is thejourney which makes us stronger and enables us to learn from our mistakes. Themessage of journey in the Asian American works.