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Essay about individuals' identities and definition of "foreign"

brood910 5 / 14  
Oct 17, 2009   #1
Hello, I am a high school student enrolled in AP English class..
I have to write an essay about two stories about immigrants..

The prompt is : Does an individual's own identity affect the way he determines who or what is "foreign"?

I do not even understand the question -_-...
It is my job to figure out how to synthesize the two stories to write an essay to answer to the prompt.. However, I need some help with brainstorming some ideas that I need to look for in the stories.. One story is about an immigrant who works to get money in the US, and the other one is about an immigrant (born in US) who goes back to his motherland, where he has never been to before. I need at least 3 ideas to write 3 body paragraphs.. I will still appreciate it if you give me only one.

Thank you!!!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Oct 19, 2009   #2
Well, the question seems fairly straightforward to me. Does a person's identity influence what he considers foreign. For instance, I have a friend whose parents are Chinese immigrants. That is, they were born in China, then moved to Canada. They quite possibly still consider themselves Chinese, and indeed they spend a lot of their time in China visiting relatives. To them, China is presumably not foreign. Canada may well still seem that way to them, though. My friend, however, was born and raised here. He is uncomfortable using Cantonese, which he considers as his second language. He has made several trips to China, but he views himself as visiting a foreign country when he does so. for him, Canada is his native, familiar country, and China is the foreign, alien one. So, even within one family, with only one generation's difference, individual identity has profoundly influenced how the various family members define what is foreign.

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