Mukherjee vs. Rodriguez As of today, The United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other country in the world. The number of immigrants totaled 37. 5 million as of 2006. All of this has to do with Richard Rodriguez and Bharati Mukherjee’s stories based on immigration in the United States. Entitled “Los Otros, Mis Hermanos” and ”Two Ways to Belong in America”. Where as Rodriguez’s story is about a young Mexican immigrant finding it hard to live in a society where he struggles to understand it’s main language. He believes as a child that he doesn’t belong in a country where it’s main language is not of his.
He only feels at peace when he is with his family speaking his own language. As well as where Mukherjee’s story is of two sisters named Mira and Bharati, both immigrants and very successful in their careers. Explaining how Mira all of a sudden has rage towards the country she has lived in for thirty years, due to the lack of effort shown by the U. S. Congress to enact a legislation that would not allow any government benefits towards resident aliens. As for Bharati, she has mixed feelings on the subject at hand. Rodriguez and Mukherjee’s stories share a common theme and purpose, but are diverse in their conflict and focus. Los Otros, Mis Hermanos” and “Two Ways to Belong in America” share a common theme in where they both are legal immigrants living in America. Rodriguez’s story is based on his childhood where he is living as a Mexican immigrant. Since Spanish is the only language he is able to interpret, he reference “The language of their Mexican past sounded in counterpoint to the English of public society” (Rodriguez pg. 309). For “Two Ways to Belong in America” the two sisters are living in the United States while Bharati is an American citizen, Mira is not. However both have Indian roots within them.
For both of them their cultural backgrounds are very strong within them. As of course, them being an immigrant in a new country that they are not familiar with, they both have very strong bounds with their cultural heritage. Where as for example in Mukherjee’s story she shows how traditional her family is with their Indian marriages by saying how they are properly done in her home country. Mukherjee states ”We would endure out two years in America, secure our degrees, then return to India to marry the grooms of our father’s choosing” (Mukherjee pg. 316).
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However, they both did not follow those guidelines by marrying grooms of their own choosing. In Rodriguez’s story he shows how speaking Spanish made him feel at home, by whenever he spoke to his family members or friends in Spanish he felt as if he was recognized as someone special. While there are similar qualities between the two stories there are contrarieties too. One being their formalities of education, reading where Mukherjee’s story was coming, from the sisters were well educated and successful in their careers. They both received degrees in their prestige subjects.
As for Rodriguez’s story when he was younger it seemed as if it was very difficult for his upbringing into education. For example, his parents learning of the English language, as he states “In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, not always grammatical English” (Rodriguez pg. 309). It seemed as if the schooling where he was coming from was not as much of a impact as compared to mukherjee’s learning’s. In “Los Otros, Mis Hermanos” as a young boy Rodriguez was very secluded from the rest of civilization by reason of his inability of learning the English language.
In “Two Ways to Belong in America” the sisters were very much in content with the rest of the world. They would travel all throughout the world willing to try anything new. Where as Rodriguez, he was concealed from his very own neighborhood, he didn’t know the names of his neighbors, as he states, “But no one in the family knew the names of the old couple who lived next door; until I was seven years old, I did not know the names of the kids who lived across the street” (Rodriguez pg. 309).
The stories by Rodriguez and Mukherjee’s stories had a similar case and dedication, however were disparate in their upbringings and socialization. Being in a country where your not accustomed to is difficult enough, living their must be an even bigger challenge. In Rodriguez’s case he couldn’t speak Spanish outside of his home so he felt at lost. In Mukherjee’s situation even after living for 30 years in this country they were still at subject to be dismissed from it. This shows you being the outsider in a world isn’t as easy to sustain, even when they had thought they had finally made it.
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