Chang portrays the complexity of Henry’s character by showing the conflict that he faces both in his personal and professional life. His confusion towards his own Cultural identity is noticed in his relationships with his co-workers as well as with his family. His personal relationship with his family, especially with his father and his wife exemplifies the clash between the two cultures which seems to tear Henry apart. Leila, Henry’s wife, seems to epitomize the traditional American Culture which Henry tries very hard to be a part of. Her forthright nature along with the independence and individuality contradicts the stereotypical qualities of an Asian wife. However, Henry’s desperation is seen in his forgiving attitude towards Leila’s action and behavior. His deter...
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...a of what his life would have been had he been born and raised by an American Family. This shows that he has been trying to run away from the shadow of his own Culture in an effort to gain acceptance in the American Culture. However, his unruly behavior might have resulted due to the lack of support from his family especially his father. His father’s determination of trying to keep him bounded to the Korean tradition and values might have what actually pushed Henry away. For example, when Henry decides to take an American girl to the Spring Dance, his father justifies her interest in her son due his financial background. He says to Henry, “You real dummy, Henry. Don’t you know? You just free dance ticket. She just using you” (Pg. 74). This illustrates that Henry has been struggling to gain his father’s respect and approval in him but was never able to achieve that.
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