To be an American, According to Amy, is to have the quiet mannerisms of an American. Amy is a Chinese girl who wants so much to be like an American. So much so that she is so embarrassed by her parents culture and general behavior. In her narrative, she describes, in detail, what her perception of being an American is by stating all the Chinese things that she hated because she did not believe they conformed to American standards.
She is ashamed of her relatives because they are shabby. Therefore, according to her, to be an American means to always be neat and presentable especially at gatherings where you are not the only family present. Amy is also disillusioned by the loudness of her relatives. As a result, to be an American is to have quiet manners. To speak little and to speak in a low tone. To be an American is to have “a roasted turkey and sweet potatoes” for Christmas and not Chinese food (Tan 92). Americans do not lick the end of their chopsticks or pick at the back of a fish’s eye for the tender meat then offer it to their daughters.
At the end of the meal, Amy’s father leaned back and belched loudly which embarrassed her. So, it is not American to belch loudly at the end of a meal as a polite sign that the meal was exquisite. Lastly, American girls wear miniskirts in beige tweeds which is what her mother gave her as a gift because she knew how much her daughter wanted to be American. I do not agree wi…
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