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Assimilation - With A Free Essay Review

Richie Ogungbayi Ogungbayi 1; Harrison; 02/22/2012; Eng 1301.007

Coming into this free country does not necessarily mean you have much of a choice to live here and not learn the American way and English language. Government expect everyone to know how to speak English fluently which includes all the grammar rules and etcetera. That is not even the worst of coming here to the glory land. Dealing with people ignorance when they have not seen someone outside of the country is emotionally tough for people like me. Kids making fun of your name and the strong accent you might carry with your culture. Even some of the grown adults cannot help, but to laugh at foreigners too. In order to live a good free life in America, assimilating to what Government think is right is how you are not going to be bothered by people ignorance.

"okay class, I am about to call roll so please sit down," says my third grade teacher, Ms.Donnar. Another day, another class when a teacher tries to pronounce my name and does miserable and kids laugh only due to the fact kids are not use to foreign names. "I am having problems with saying this name," says Ms.Donnar. To make this situation more worse is the fact I know it is only I in this has to have such a difficult name to those who are not expose to my culture names. "Here, you can just call me Richie instead and I do not want to pronounce my name." Now, it is crazy that I would not even want to say my name to the class or teacher. Why must I feel embarrassed to say such an unique name? At the same time, I am trying to lose the Nigerian accent that seems to me necessary as my teacher told me. Was it right for the teacher to tell a child to lose his or her accent and become a normal kid before the school year is over? I suppose being normal mean to speak fluent English and make fun of people's foreign names. I tell everyone my name is Richie due to the insecurity of being talked about as if people never heard a Nigerian name before. I should not feel the need to tell people my middle name all the time when I like to hear my first name.

In the essay that Staples wrote, it says " I began to take precaution to make myself less threatening….I whistle melodies from Beethoven." I understand the concept that Staples is presenting in this sentence. Staples uses these methods to be normal and made changes based on other people reaction and comments. I feel that growing up here, all I did was adjust and change due to people's reaction to my name or the comments I have heard about my accent. Why is it necessary that I feel the need to change and become accustom to things here and it is suppose to be a free country.

In the essay Anzaldua wrote, it says," When other races have given up their tongue, we've kept ours." I applaud Anzaldua for keeping her native tongue and able to assimilate enough to live a good respected life. I feel a little shame to lose my native tongue and now speak of this dirty tongue that Americans consider fluent English. In my country, my grandmother would tell me that I speak foreign to her and my Nigerian tongue has been lost. If I had the ability to learn English and still keep my language at the same time, I would have. Being bilingual is a difficult tasks, because of the grammar rules and etcetera.



Your essay implies that there is a contradiction between the idea of America as a land of freedom and the perceived requirement that an immigrant suppress her or his own cultural heritage in order to assimilate. That implication is captured well in the question "Why is it necessary that I feel the need to change and become accustomed [note correction] to things here [when] it is supposed to be a free country?" That seems to be just a rhetorical question in your essay, however, and I think you might achieve the purpose of the essay more effectively if you made it a real question and tried to answer it. Your essay identifies a problem, but it doesn't really analyse it.

Generally, you need to make your argument more explicit and more elaborate. You seem to be suggesting, for instance, that one of the reasons for the contradiction between professed freedom and the demand for assimilation is that the process of assimilation seems to be one-sided; you, the immigrant, are the one who has to "adjust and change," not others. On the one hand, of course, immigrants (I speak as an immigrant) are obliged by necessity to adapt as well as they can, but there is something to be said for the idea that, on the other hand, in a civilized world, the host nation is also obliged (ethically speaking) to put some effort into making the immigrant feel welcome. I think that is where you could go with this essay: an argument in favor of basic hospitality.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: richierich713

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