English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)
May 10, 2020
In “A Good Fall,” by Ha Jin, the central characters are Ganchin, Cindy and Master Zong and these people are significant. Each of them bring uniqueness to the story itself with the fair share of different backgrounds. Ganchin is a Chinese immigrant that came to New York. He was a kung fu teacher and a monk. The conflict appears when Master Zong wants Ganchin to go back to his country. Along the journey, Cindy gave him advice. Impulsively Master Zong decided to kidnap him at the airport. With that said, Ganchin made a decision to escape.
Kenny K.K. Ng’s article “The migrant voice: The politics of writing home between the Sinophone and Anglophone worlds,” gives an insight of “cultural politics of both the host country and the motherland”. On the other hand, Jerry A. Varsava’s article “An Interview with Ha Jin,” explores the idea of “evolving perceptions” to give readers a feel of his struggles and immigrant process. While Ng’s article is beneficial on supporting the difference of living from your country to United Stated globally, I think Varsava’s core focuses on what actually happens can prove a certain ethic. Another article that might help with information is Shu-mei Shih ’s article, “Racializing Area Studies, Defetishizing China,” explores the fact on how complicated American government can be. In sequence, I will first explore the concept of immigrants and their challenges faced affecting deontology. Lastly, I will analyze the politics of one’s country.
English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)
May 8th, 2020
New York Day Women
“New York Day Women” is a short story by Edwidge Danticat. The story is about an immigrant family living in the United States. Suzette and her mother are the main characters of the story. In the story, Suzette sees her mother in the city, during the day, and wonders what her mission was. She followed her around, as if she was a stalker to see what her mother was up to. She made the decision not to call her mother to let her know that she had seen her. A decision she later regretted. Instead, she observed her mother’s actions reminiscing when her mother would do those things directly, or indirectly to her. Throughout the story, the relationship between Suzette, and her mother changes. It goes from a questionable one-sided love from her mother to Suzette learning to appreciate and love her mother.
In Samuel A. James Alexander’s article, “M/Othering the Nation: Women’s Bodies as Nationalist Trope in Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory,” he points out how women are treated in many underdeveloped countries. He even details how women in Haiti are raped, and mistreated by people in power, and people who are out of power. This lines Danticat’s “New York Day Women” as Suzette’s mother refuses to return to Haiti, even after his sisters had died. While Danticat’s short story points out the ethic Suzette’s mother has, Alexander’s article explains further the reasoning behind her actions in the short story towards Suzette.
To prove this I will first explore the ethics of both Suzette, and her mother. Then I will explain the reasons for their actions from my point of view. Then I will explore Danticat, and Alexander’s past to connect the short, and the article with them.
English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)
Essay 3 (First Page)
May 8, 2020
Ethics and Character Decisions
In Ha Jin’s short story “A Good Fall,” important scenes occur where characters such as Ganchin and Master Zong follow an ethical code during moments of problematic times. Master Zong was head of the temple that Ganchin was a monk/kung fu teacher in. Ganchin’s visa expired which led him to be an illegal alien. Master Zong wanted to send Ganchin back to China so he kidnapped Ganchin. Ganchin escaped the airport and eventually found a building to attempt suicide. The author, Ha Jin explores the experience of Chinese immigrants and the challenges they face in the United States. Holley E. Martin’s Article “Falling Into America: The Downside of Transnational Identities in Ha Jin’s A Good Fall,” explores the idea of “transmigrants” being tied to China and exiled to having an American identity. In another article “An Interview with Ha Jin” by Jerry A. Varsava explores Ha Jin’s writing which elaborates the moral behind “A Good Fall.” While Varsava’s article focuses on Ha Jin’s writing and him as a whole, I think Martin’s article will be a better claim with the fact that it focuses on how the characters being tied to China has impacted them and the ethical choices they make throughout the short story. In order to show this, I will first explore the actions made by Master Zong. Lastly, I will explore the actions made by Ganchin.
ENG 1121 (Prof.Scanlan)
Essay 3 First page
Life Is a Long Journey
In Ha Jin’s A Good Fall, the central characters are Ganchin, Master Zong, Cindy, and Fanku and they belong to two main camps, the good and the evil. The good is to describe people like Ganchin, Fanku, and Cindy — Ganchin follows the rules to be a good monk and doesn’t want to hurt anyone, Fanku and Cindy tries their best to help Ganchin, and in the end Cindy brings everyone to help Ganchin. The evil is to describe people like Master Zong — He was a selfish man who wanted to be wealthy, so he refused to pay Ganchin (and the monks who used to work in his temple) salary, kept his passport and forced Ganchin to go to the airport to send him home. In the short story it shows each character’s types of ethics for the specific things. At the same time, it also shows that the journey of life is so wonderful, one journey is not yet started, another journey is started, just like the main character Ganchin in this short story.
In Holly E. Martin’s article “Falling Into America: The Downside of Transnational Identities in Ha Jin’s A Good Fall”, documenting the hardships of immigrant life in the United States, especially on main street. On the other hand, Kera Bolonik writes in “Next Stop, Main Street; Ha Jin’s new stories go where the new immigrants do: Flushing’s Chinatown”, shows the rich source of writing material for writers (Main Street, NY). While Martin’s article satisfies readers’ attention to the life of the immigrants and types of ethics, Bolonik focuses on the writers, and this better shows that the new environment has different feelings for different people. In order to prove this, I will first explore how hard life can be for immigrants, and how these good (Fanku and Cindy) helped Ganchin successfully “shake off” from the evil Master Zong, and then each character’s types of ethics. Lastly, I will compare the different feelings for different people when they face the new environment (immigrants and writers).
Ethics and Character Decisions
One common question in any movie or story is ‘why’. Why would a character steal from someone? What motivates someone to do the same tedious or boring job every day? Why does a person perform a selfless act on others? People are guided by ethics in their life when they are making individual decisions. Ethics are moral principles that control a person’s behavior or conduct in a particular activity. Many types of ethics govern these behaviors. Ethics help people make decisions that have an impact on their lives and that of others.
In “Assimilation,” by E. L. Doctorow, Ramon, a struggling college student works as a dishwasher at Borislav’s restaurant. Ramon’s employer, Borislav, offers him a promotion and three thousand dollars to enter into a marriage with his niece Jelena in Russia. This decision would change Ramon’s life in a way that he never imagined as the money would help him continue with education and achieve his film making dream. Jelena wants to come and live in the United States legally to get a better life, which is why Ramon’s promotion comes with the agreement to marry her. “I don’t know. It’s selling yourself, and it’s a defilement of sacred matters.” (Danticat 2) Ramon tells his brother that taking the offer would be selling himself and going against the rule of marriage. Ramon uses virtue ethics to refuse the offer as he would not want to ruin his moral character by selling himself in order to get money.
Essay 3 First Page
English 1121(Prof. Scanlan)
May 9, 2020
The Message to the World
In Edwidge Danticat’s New York Day Women, the main characters are Suzette and her mother. In this short story, Suzette follows her mother throughout the day to see how well she has adjusted to the big city, and how her experiences growing up in Haiti prepared her for a new life in New York City. With the frequent flashbacks of wisdom pass down from mother to daughter, Suzette transitions to a better person with a different mindset, similar to her mother. The story also displays a pure relationship between a mother and her daughter, and how deep their love is for each other. Robyn Cope’s article “‘WE ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS’: EDWIDGE DANTICAT’S NEW NARRATIVE FOR HAITI,” dives into what Danticat seeks to do with her writing, that of humanizing Haiti and giving the country a voice. Contrarily, Achy Obejas’ renowned speech honoring Danticat; dubbed as “Bearing the Unforgivable: A Tribute to Edwidge Danticat,” highlights Danticat writing style that speaks on its’ own. Obejas speaks on how Danticat’s stories have a way to make her readers question life, the unknown things around us, our relationships, and ponder what our morals and ethics are. While Cope’s article give readers’ awareness of Haiti’s situation and how Danticat’s writing seeks to humanize Haiti, Achy sees Danticat’s writing as a door for readers to really think about what’s around them, question and understand their relationships, ponder the lives of others, while also figuring out ones’ character. To prove this, I will examine the short story New York Day Women to show the ethics of Suzette and her mother, and the morals Suzette’s mother display throughout the story. I will also dive into Danticat’s early years to draw connections to her writing. Finally, I will look into some points supporting Cope’s argument using the short story to concoct a counter-argument.
The ethics displayed by Suzette and the flashbacks that highlight her mother’s ethics, brings out the pure relationship between the two into fruition, and who they are morally.