Introduction to my advanced essay:
My goal for this essay is to highlight how foreigners have to adapt to their new lives when they migrate. While doing this they often sacrifice aspects of their old lives so they can make the most of their new lives. This shouldn’t be the case. They should be able to come to new places and not have to change their identity. I’m proud of my analysis because I feel like they turned out strong and supported my thesis.
Advanced Essay #3: Adaption
An image shows two little boys riding tricycles in a refugee camp. The refugee camp is located in southern Athens at the old international airport. The boy in the back is wearing white shoes that are too big for him. He’s walking while holding an orange and black tricycle carefully through the road. The boy in front of him is riding a pink and purple tricycle that was meant for a girl. He has no shoes on but is focused on riding the tricycle. The boys are riding the tricycles in what looks to be the parking lot of the airport. In the background, there are two tents. This image, like many others, shows how refugees have to adapt to their circumstances. Refugees leave their lives and are required to start over. Even though the refugees are at a camp they are trying to make the best of the situation and form a functioning way of living. The kids are adapting to their circumstances just by the fact that they are trying to have fun even though they are at an unfamiliar place. As mentioned before, one kid has shoes that are too big for him and another has no shoes on at all. If you ever rode a bike before you know those small things are not the conditions in which you should be riding a bike in, yet the kids are trying to make the most of what they have and still find a way to have fun at a place like a refugee came. What most people don’t understand about this is refugees have to get rid of aspects of their old life to adapt to their new lives. circumstances.
Another example is in the article A Return to Nigeria. The author describes her personal experience of living in Nigeria, moving back to the United States, and then going back to Nigeria. The author describes how moving back to the United States made her change things about her identity. The article says, “Coming of age in foreign classrooms, my sister and I slowly shed our native skins. We let teachers mangle our names then adopted their mispronunciations- introducing ourselves with syllables our own relatives tripped over.” This evidence shows how the author and her sister adjusted to American culture. Instead of correcting the teachers they allowed them to mess up their names and they even accepted the mispronunciations. The girls were trying to adapt to their new culture so they get rid of certain aspects of their identity to fit into American culture. Examples of foreigners changing their names or adopting an Americanized name is common when foreigners migrate to America. The author even points out that their relatives tripped over the new syllables but that didn’t make her change her name back due to the fact that she wanted to adjust to American culture, so life could be easier and they could fit in. The reality of this is if someone wants to make it in America they have to have an Americanized name. Someone’s success shouldn’t be based on how their name sounds.
In the book Behold the Dreamers, we are introduced to a family that is from Cameroon and move to New York for better opportunities. The family is then challenged when their source of income is affected by the financial crisis. Neni enjoyed the New York life. She easily adapted to life in New York. She and her friend Fatou went shopping in Chinatown for designer bags like Gucci (even though they were fakes) so she could fit the new status quo. On Page 11 “Neni said to Fatou as they walked through Chinatown looking for make-believe Gucci and Versace bags.” This shows how Neni adapted to life in New York by trying to look the part. She tried to look the part by getting designer bags because most people who live in America have some type of designer items. Even though the bags weren’t real she still got it to look the part, hence her trying to be like an American. This highlights how Neni wanted to get rid of her old appearance to fit an American’s appearance.
Another example from Behold the Dreamers is when times started getting rough for the Jongas, Jende started taking his anger out on Neni. They would argue more, but Neni didn’t allow him to talk to her how he wanted. Neni and one of her friends talked about it and said how Neni just had to accept things. On page 311 “No matter what women in this country do, she went on we African woman must stand behind the husband and be following them and say yes, yes. That we African women must do. We no gunno say to husband no, I no gunno do it.” This evidence shows how Neni was starting to adapt to American culture. Nani started to stand up for herself against Jende which isn’t something common that African women did. When Jende tries to order Neni around she starts to act like an “American Woman” by challenging what he says, which is something that Africana women weren’t supposed to do. She adapts by adjusting to how America’s family dynamics are and not following how Africans are. She sacrifices her obeying attitude and starts to stand up for herself. This leads to their family dynamic changing.
People tend to overlook the fact that migrants have to adapt. When they do adapt it causes them to have to get rid of aspects from their old lives. Which is wrong because no one should have to sacrifice aspects of their identity to fit in somewhere
16 Children – 16 Photos: Click the Black Background and Switch on Their Reality. Politiken, 28 Feb. 2017, politiken.dk/fotografier/art5849931/Click-the-black-background-and-switch-on-their-reality. Accessed 13 Jan. 2020.
Okoro, Enuma. “A Return to Nigeria.” Opinionator, //opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/a-return-to-nigeria/. Accessed 14 Jan. 2020.
Mbue, Imbolo. Behold the Dreamers: a Novel. Random House Inc, 2017.
Hamid, Mohsin. Exit West. Penguin Random House, 2017.