The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl: A Summary and a Reaction
Part 1: Summary
In “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl,” Wong writes about her transformation from a Chinese girl to an American girl. Wong went to a Chinese school addition to an American public school because her mother wanted her and her brother to learn Chinese language as their heritage. Wong studied mainly Chinese language until she was ten years old. She studied it for two years but it embarrassed her. Wong said she was thinking “Chinese was pedestrian, chaotic and frenzied language.” (21). When Wong was twelve, finally she was allowed to quit the Chinese school. She din not care if she grew up with the essences of both cultures, Chinese and American, when she was in the Chinese school. She just wanted to be an all-American girl. As an adult, Wong thinks she is just an American, and she is sad.
Part 2: Reaction
In “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl.”, Wong talks about her cultural experience. She did not want to be a Chinese girl, so she tried to be completely an American girl. It might be a disappointing thing because she denied her Chinese culture and she missed the chance to have a mixed culture. It is a difficult but wonderful thing to grow up having two cultures.
Wong decided to be an All-American girl, and she gave up living as a Chinese. Her mother and grandmother were disappointed because they used Chinese language and they lived as Chinese. In addition, she did not become an heir to her Chinese culture which they had taken from ancestors. Chinese culture has a long history and to inherit it has valuable meanings so Wong should have cherished it.
In addition, Wong grew up in America with Chinese culture. It meant she had not only her traditional culture but also her ideal one, American culture. She did not realize this, and completely shut out her original culture from her seed. Wong had a chance to live with two identities; actually it was more difficult situation than to give up one identity and to get new one.
Wong had dreamed about being an All-American girl when she was a child, and her dream came true but it caused disappointing result for her family and even for herself. She refused to accent Chinese culture which her family was keeping as their heritage. In addition to losing her traditional culture, Wong wasted the chance to be a person having a mixed culture, Chinese and American. Now that she has become an adult, Wong feels emptiness of growing up as just an All-American girl.