As my class was discussing Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language, a short novel written by Eva Hoffman, we reached a question about searching for identity while facing multicultural circumstances. I found it relatively easy for me to find a topic for my final paper because I am the one who is facing a multicultural environment. Moreover, I had read Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, which is also talking about identifying oneself in a multicultural environment. Hence, I decided to use my personal experience and the book I read before to further question whether people can succeed in finding their identities.
After I made up my mind, I kept asking myself the same question and tried to weave my emotion into this essay. Then, I had trouble when I was actually writing the essay. I wrote with too much personal emotion, which made it more like a biography than a comparative essay. However, it was an obstacle for me to remove any parts of my personal experience since those are the strongest support for my argument. By reviewing the second draft a few times, I decided to make some changes. Instead of simply describing my experience, I broke it into pieces and added the primary material in between. In this way, I finally made this essay more objective, but it still contains all of my experience and emotion.
YING ZHANG, Class of 2015, is majoring in mathematics and human geography in the College of Arts and Sciences. She came across various problems as a Chinese international student in an American high school, such as language barriers and culture shock. Her own experience makes her interested in the topic of seeking an identity in a multicultural society. This essay was written for Thomas Oller’s course, WR 098.