Cathy Song’s published Picture Bride her poetry book in 1983. Although small, the poem gracefully moves through the theme of womanhood, motherhood, childhood, and family relationships. Song really enjoyed writing about her family. The main focus of Picture Bride was her grandmother. She talked about how she came all the way from Korea. This poem takes a very different look at immigration. Compared to all the stories we have already read in class. Unlike those that focused on being separated from their family. This one starts out happy sounding.
Song wrote, “She was a year younger than I, twenty- three when she left Korea” (Song). Making it sound as if this beautiful young girl left her birthplace to come to the United States. Then readers read the next line, “ the boat waited to take her to an island whose name she had only recently learned,” (Song). This makes it sound like she was not that interested in coming to American. Which is strange because, most immigrants could not wait to get to America. Where it was said to have streets that were paved with gold. A little farther down the poem it says, “And when she arrived to look into the face of the stranger who was her husband,” (Song). It clicks for readers. The title of the poem is not taking about a wedding picture. It is talking about an actual picture bride. A picture bride is when, an immigrant worker, commonly from Japan and Korea living in Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. Would select brides from their native countries via a matchmaker that paired a bride and groom using only photographs and family recommendations.
This sounds like a mix between online dating and arranged marriage. Someone else picks a husband for a young lady, whom she must marry. In the grandmothers case she had to leave everything behind in her country to go to a strange new place and join her husband whom she didn’t know. This poem should be used as a wake-up call to others. Once again showing people that immigrating to America was hard. Now matter how you got here. This story seems to have close ties with feminism. Showing that not giving women a choice in the man they marry is wrong. Women deserve to have just as many rights as men do.
Here is another picture bride story.
Song, Cathy. “Picture Bride.” Picture Bide. 1983. Print.
August Wilson used Troy’s job as a symbol of inequalities that blacks had during the 1950’s in his 1987 play Fences . While the country and made significant changes we still had a long way to go. Blacks were aloud to have jobs just not equal jobs. In the play Troy says, “ I went to Mr. Rand and asked him, Why? Why you got white mens driving and the color lifting” (Wilson). Mr. Rand tells Troy, to take it up with the union. When Troy went to the union they came up with a bunch of lies, which up-set Troy. He didn’t mean to cause trouble he just wanted to give everyone a chance to drive.
In Act One Scene Four Troy gets great news. Troy comes home to his wife and says, “ Mr. Rand called me into his office today… he called me in and told me they was making me a driver”(Wilson). I think that Wilson was trying to show that slowly Americans were breaking down the barriers of racial dissemination.
Wilson also used the fence it’s self as a symbol. Rose loves the fence because it represents that her family’s closeness. It’s like trapping them there and not letting them leave. Sad part is her husband still cheats on her. Also Wilson specifically had Troy and Cory working on the fence when Troy told Cory that he couldn’t play football on even if a college coach was coming to watch the game. If I were Cory that fence would have caused bad memories for my childhood. Then at the end of the play Cory doesn’t even want to go to his owns father’s funeral.
Wilson, August. Fences: A Play. New York: New American Library, 1987. Print.
“Daddy”, by Sylvia Plath caught my eye because of who the narrator is referring to by Daddy. When I read the line, “ I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you” (Plath). I thought that “daddy” was someone close to her a father figure. Then I read, “ If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two – The vampire who said he was you” (Plath). Now to me this sounds like she is responsible for the “Daddy’s” death. Then she talks about the Daddy as a Nazi solider or even Hitler himself.
Plath was trying to make a point, she is comparing the daddy to a lot of things, but I feel that she was truly trying to show how people are stereotypical towards Germans. In line 29 she wrote, “ I thought every German was you.” Insight of the events that took places in Germany during World War II. Then she makes references to being stuck in barbwire, the Jews, and the Gypsy’s. Finally in the last stanza, “ There’s a stake in your fat black heart…Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through” (Plath). He message is pretty clear.
I took me a few reads to understand but, I think know what she was trying to get at. Not all Germans liked Hitler. Most people were very afraid of him, comparing him to a vampire, which sucked their blood. He was killing citizens for no reason at all. The people of Germany were happy when he was finally dead. However, notice that the title of the poem is Daddy. It is not something dark, cold, or evil sounding. I believe that is because Plath wanted to show people that just because you are living in the same house or country doesn’t mean you are the same. She was trying to show others that Germans are good people; they are NOT all Jews killing heartless Nazi’s.
Plath, Sylvia. Daddy. 1965. Print.