Dwight Okita and Sandra Cisneros are two American writers who have addressed the issue of Executive Order 9066 in their work. Dwight Okita’s poem “In the Bag” is a response to the executive order, while Sandra Cisneros’ short story “Eleven” also addresses the topic.
Dwight Okita was born in California to Japanese parents. He was interned with his family at Manzanar during World War II. In “In the Bag,” Okita imagines what it would have been like if his family had been forced to leave their home without being able to take anything with them. The poem reflects on the loss of personal belongings and how they can represent one’s identity.
Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago to a Mexican father and a Mexican-American mother. She is best known for her novel The House on Mango Street, which tells the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. In “Eleven,” Cisneros addresses the issue of bullying and how it can make one feel powerless. The protagonist, Rachel, is an eleven-year-old girl who is teased by her classmates about her height. She feels alone and different from everyone else, but she ultimately learns to embrace her unique identity.
Writers such as Dwight Okita and Sandra Cisneros have been influenced by American culture. “Response to Executive Order 9066” by Dwight Okita, and “Mericans” by Sandra Cisnerosa are two examples of writers who have utilized the idea of American identity.
In his poem, Okita explores the notion of American identity by focusing on the connection between two pals from different racial backgrounds. The place you’re from and how you look has nothing to do with what it means to be an American in these poems.
In “Response to Executive Order 9066”, Dwight Okita examines the cost of being Japanese-American during World War II. The speaker in the poem reflects on his experience being sent to an internment camp, and how thisevent changed his view of what it means to be American. In the poem, Okita writes:
“We were American then,/before we were yellow or Jap or nisei./We were young and common and strong,/and swore allegiance to the stars and stripes./We had never seen a man die…”
This excerpt from the poem demonstrates how the speaker’s experience in an internment camp led him to question his American identity. He recalls that before he was interned, he considered himself to be American first and foremost. However, after being treated like a criminal by his own government, he begins to question what it really means to be American.
Sandra Cisneros’ poem “Mericans” also explores the concept of American identity. In the poem, Cisneros writes about a young girl who is struggling to find her place in the world. The girl is of Mexican descent, but she was born in the United States and considers herself to be American.
However, she doesn’t feel like she fits in with either culture. She is not Mexican enough for the Mexicans, and she is not American enough for the Americans. The girl in the poem feels like she is stuck between two cultures and doesn’t quite belong to either one.
Both Dwight Okita and Sandra Cisneros use their poems to explore the concept of American identity. They both demonstrate that where you’re from and how you look doesn’t define what it means to be American. American identity is something that is fluid and ever-changing. It is something that is defined by each individual person.
In response to “Mericans,” Michelle, the daughter, appears to despise her entire family as she names them one by one. For example, she refers to her uncle Uncle Fat-face and aunt Auntie Light-skin as such. In American society, childhood is a carefree time, but this girl appears to be having difficulties with her sense of self because she claims that she is the only daughter who does not want on Sundays.
She is ashamed of her family, and she does not want to be like them. When the family moves to California, she is excited because she thinks she will finally fit in. However, she soon realizes that she is different from everyone else there too. She is not like the other girls at school, and she does not feel like she belongs.
The poem ends with the girl saying that she is “not American”, and this seems to be her final realization that she will never truly feel like she belongs anywhere. She is caught between two cultures, and neither one feels like home.
This poem speaks to the experience of many immigrants who come to the United States. They often find that they are not really accepted as American, and they can never truly feel at home here. This poem also speaks to the issue of assimilation. The girl in the poem is trying to assimilate, but she just doesn’t fit in. She is not like her family, and she is not like the people in her community. This poem highlights the challenges that many immigrants face when they come to the United States.
The horrible grandmother is pushing her to not want to be from her culture as a result of the pressure she puts on her. When the “awful grandma” prays for “Mericans” and represents her dislike of the United States, the author develops the American Identity theme.
The character Dwight Okita also plays a role in the American Identity theme because he is from a different culture, but he eventually assimilates to the “Merican” culture. Sandra Cisneros develops the theme of American Identity by having the daughter want to find her own identity and not the one her grandmother is pushing on her. Dwight Okita also plays a role in developing this theme because he is from a different culture, but he eventually assimilates to the “Merican” culture.
The girl’s name is Leslie and she is a 6th grader. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her mother and father, who works long hours. The narrative describes how the protagonist’s life was greatly altered when her family sought refuge from racial prejudice at an internment camp during World War II.
As we continue reading, we see how severely Leslie is impacted as she claims that her closest friend is a white girl named Denise. Her best friend has affected her because of the difference in their family customs. When it came time for the little girl to go to an internment camp, she had a quarrel with Denise and was told to stop talking by Denise.
The little girl then says “I wanted to tell her I was American too, but I didn’t know how” (Okita). The little girl is now forced to confront her identity. She doesn’t want to be different, she just wants to be like everyone else and have the same opportunities.
In the story, the little girl’s father tries to tell her that being different is what makes America great. The father says “That’s what makes this country great. People from all over the world coming together and making something new, something beautiful” (Okita). Even though the little girl’s father tries to make her see the beauty in diversity, she still feels lost and confused.
It isn’t until later on in the story when the little girl reads a poem by Sandra Cisneros that she finally begins to understand. The poem is called ” Mericans” and it is about a Mexican-American girl who is trying to find her place in the world. The little girl realizes that she is just like the girl in the poem, and that it is okay to be different. In fact, it is what makes America great.