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“The Good Daughter” by Caroline Hwang

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 263
  • Category: Culture

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The essay titled “The Good Daughter” by Caroline Hwang, describes the life of Caroline Hwang, a young Korean-American women, who finds herself in an identity crisis. Hwang’s parents were born in Korea, but Hwang was born, and raised in the United States, where she enjoyed all the perks of a typical American childhood. One day, during a routine trip to the drycleaner’s she was confronted by a fellow Korean, who illuminated her to the fact that for her entire life, she had been mispronouncing her own name. When Hwang asked her parents about this, they said they never cared to correct her. They expressed their intention to raised Hwang to be, “more American” and to be fully assimilated in American culture so she could reap its benefits. Yet, they also expected her to marry a Korean man who shared the same culture as her parents and to give them grandchildren that, “looked like them”.

Hwang recalled feeling like she never knew what it was like to belong to a community. What made it worse was her parent’s inability to understand her struggle finding her own identity, given two very different cultures. Her conflict to find herself, yet please her parents leads her to compromise her education and love life, she ends up being dissatisfied with her choices. Often wondering if her parents are responsible for the lack of passion in her life. In the end, she finds no resolution. Hwang, like other children of immigrant parent’s, remains trapped between wanting to fulfill her parent’s dream and satisfying her own desires.

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