16 thoughts on “English 1A Respond to “Two Ways to Belong To America”

  1. Diana Perez

    Murkherjee wrote this narrative becuase he wants to make known the struggles that immigrants go through when moving to a different country. It doesn’t matter where you migrated from whether it is Mexico, China, Africa, or India there are always struggles that will make living comfortably in a new country very difficult. Murkherjee tries to explain this in his narrative by mentioning the benefits that the government was stripping away from immigrants.

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  2. Jhon Yu Liao

    Jhon Yu Liao
    Professor Keeble
    ENGL 1A
    25 October 2017
    In Bharati Mukherjee’s essay, “Two Ways Belong in America”, the author tells her and her sister’s story from Calcutta, India who moved to the U.S.A. to achieve their education goal. They had almost the same religion beliefs, appearance and attitude. As the time passed, the sisters would have different lives and ways of thinking about the U.S.A. and its immigrants’ government benefits.
    Mukherjee’s purpose is to inform the audience of her and her sister’s difficult experiences in the U.S.A. in which Bharati decided to be a part of a new community by marrying someone of a different community and living an America life style. Her sister, Mira, who decided to stick with her culture by keeping her Indian citizenship and not do the same thing her sister did. “Mira and I differ, however, in the ways in which we hope to IS interact with the country that we have chosen to live in. She is happier to live in America as expatriate Indian than as an immigrant American. I need to feel like a part of the community I have adopted (as I tried to feel in Canada as well).” (Par. 14). The second purpose is the difficult life of being an immigrant to receive government benefits by having a green card. “I felt then the same sense of betrayal that Mira feels now. I will never forget the pain of that sudden turning, and the casual racist outbursts the Green Paper elicited. That sense of betrayal had its desired effect and drove me, and thousands like me, from the country.” (Par 15)

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  3. Tomas

    Bharati Mukherjee, the author of “Two Ways To Belong To America” explains in India she and Mira have been “almost identical in appearance and attitude”. Nevertheless, in the USA, Bharati decided to marry beyond her cultural community and consequently entered into a totally different speech community out of her husband Mira, who wed her cultural equal and preserved her membership inside her Indian civilization’s address community. Since Mira chose to conserve her Indian heritage and lifestyle, she didn’t want to become assimilated into American culture but rather wished to keep her own identity as an Indian immigrant operating in the USA. Mira didn’t welcome the new laws that encouraged lawful immigrants to become American citizens such as Bharati did. The sisters found themselves seeing their new life through the eyes of two entirely different language communities. Mukherjee writes “Mira’s voice, I realize, is the voice not just of the immigrant South Asian community but of an immigrant community of the millions who have stayed rooted in one job, one city, one house, one ancestral culture, one cuisine, for the entirety of their productive years”.

    Through this choice, I have learned just how much of an effect a language community could have on one’s individuality, not just through speech, dialects, and societal relations but out of ethnicity, culture, culture, and politics. I have also gained a new appreciation for diverse cultures in the point of view of immigrants. There has been a longstanding debate concerning the “melting pot” versus “tossed salad” debate. If we encourage immigrants to assimilate to American civilization or welcome diversity? I’ve gotten into arguments with my mom many times relating to this circumstance. She considers English should be announced America’s “official” language and anybody who chooses to live here wants to learn English instead of attempt to educate their particular language. Though I agree it would make communicating simpler if everybody heard English, I advised the diversity of distinct languages and need to become fluently bilingual at any stage in my entire life. I know the perspectives of the two Bharati and Mira and love Mukherjee’s article for expressing each side of this issue from two entirely different language communities.

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  4. Betel Etafe

    Betel Etafe
    English 1A

    “Two Ways To Belong To America” is about two Indian sisters who have different views about the United States. Both sisters were born and raised in Calcutta, India and moved America in search of education and work. Bharati is an American citizen and her sister, Mira, is not. Muhkerjee’s purpose for writing this essay to show how much more immigrants need to sacrifice compared to how much they receive by doing it and to inform everyone of her and her sister’s encounter with difficulties throughout their journey. Also to show the difference of a struggle it will be for all immigrants to face. “Government officially turned against its immigrant communities, particularly those from South Asia.

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  5. Joseph Wong

    Joseph Wong

    Muhkerjee’s purpose for writing this essay to show the hardships that many immigrants have to face in a new country even after having to conform to a new society and voluntarily participating in the labor force and how these horrible actions truly affect how these immigrants feel. In paragraph seven Muhkerjee states that many one many undocumented immigrants were being the scapegoats for many issues in the United States which then began to affect legal immigrants like her sister. In paragraph eight, Mukherjee quotes her sister, Mira on how she feels so betrayed by the country after devoting so much of her life to helping the community and for it to be seen as nothing once the United States started targeting legal immigrants. Muhkerjee also states how painful it is to once feel welcomed in a country and then treated like a second-rate citizen.

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  6. Angelika Ramos

    Bharati Mukherjee wrote this essay to express the obstacles immigrants have to go through, physically and emotionally. For instance, immigrants experience the “ casual racist outbursts the Green Paper” elicits. The fact that you need a paper to come back to America and keeping the job that you have all the credentials to after visiting a place you loved is quite unfair. Immigrants feel betrayed by the country they worked so hard for and loved just to be treated like outsiders.

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  7. Jacquelyn Garcia

    Mukherjee wrote this essay to inform others of the struggles immigrants have to face. She used her sister’s along with her own personal experience with those struggles as immigrants in America. She also compares her experience with her sister’s since Mukherjee became an American citizen while her sister remained an immigrant. One of the main struggles that her sister went through was when the government took benefits away from immigrants, and talks about how her sister expressed her sadness and anger toward the change in the law in the eighth paragraph, “I feel used…manipulated and discarded.”

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  8. Krystal Cooper

    English 1A

    Bharati Muhkerjee, the author of “Two Ways To Belong To America” tells of how her and her sister move to america to get an education and go back home, but after 30 years of living there, with their husbands, they are shunned along with all immigrants. Muhkerjee becomes part of the American culture, but her sister does not. I believe Muhkerjee wrote this because she wanted those who are not immigrants to know what they are going through, and tell her perspective on what is going on as well as how her relationship with her sister changed.

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  9. Presley Cheng

    Bharati Mukherjee uncovers the many struggles that immigrants in America are facing on a daily basis, or rather the sudden drift of events that would diminish their identity and existence.

    Many of the immigrants in America have been forced in the dark to abandon their very “core” of identity throughout decades. Mukherjee reveals the comments made by her sister during their private conversation with the purpose to give voice to the oppressed immigrants, ” ‘I feel used,’ Mira raged on the phone the other night. ‘I feel manipulated and discarded. This is such an unfair way to treat a person who was invited to stay and work her because of her talent.” Mukherjee further explains the reasons that many immigrants could not express their emotions to the wide public, solely because of their life status that prevented them to do so, such as the lack of access to education. “Only the fluency of her English and the danger, rather than fear, born of confidence from her education, differentiate her from the seamstresses…the millions of hard-working but effectively silenced documented immigrants as well as their less fortunate ‘illegal’ brothers and sisters.”

    Bharati Mukherjee wrote “Two Ways to Belong in America” to send out a message addressing the issues that confront all immigrants in America, particularly the problem concerning the illogical and unsettling abandonment of immigrants’ own true identity. Moreover, to communicate with the victims of their own nationality, and bring light to the unfairness of their reality.

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  10. Hunter Phelps

    Mukherjee wrote this narrative to discuss her unique perspective on immigration in order to be able to give a couple examples of what it is like as an immigrant. Mekherjee and her both came to America for education and opportunity. Mekherjee sort of assimilates into American culture while her sister does not. The purpose in telling us is to enlighten readers in the struggle of what it is like immigrating to America. The main struggles being the back and forth with American government changing regulations.

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  11. Ti Faotusia

    English 1A
    Professor Keeble
    10/24/2017

    I believe the author, Muhkerjee, wrote this essay in order to portray her and her sister’s experience as immigrants, with an analysis of its toll on their lives. The author represents an immigrant willing to assimilate meanwhile her sister, Mira, held on to her original culture and traditions. By providing the two perspectives, Muhkerjee was able to connect the two with an idea that they felt a sense of betrayal from their new countries. Although the author was more willing to digest new culture, her time in Canada mirrored her sister’s. She expressed her time in Canada becoming uncomfortable, “through a Green Paper that invited a national referendum on the unwanted side effects of “nontraditional” immigration, the government officially turned against its immigrant communities, particularly those from South Asia. I felt then the same sense of betrayal that Mira feels now. I will never forget the pain of that sudden turning, and the casual racist outbursts the Green Paper elicited. That sense of betrayal had its desired effect and drove me, and thousands like me, from the country” (275). Although Muhkerjee and Mira were not US or Canadian citizens, they were legal residents. The two worked, Mira had a huge impact on pre-school education and relation. They could both be viewed as “model immigrants” in the US, yet Muhkerjee expresses the idea that immigrants will always feel a constant uncertainty in their position. As an immigrant that was willing to assimilate into “…blue jeans, and T-shirts, and renouncing 3,000 years (at least) of caste-observant,”pure culture” marriage” (273), the author still felt like an outsider. No matter the contribution, immigrants are viewed and referred to as their original home countries. The US doesn’t share a sense of ownership for immigrants.

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  12. Nicholas Pynchon

    In her essay, “Two Ways to Belong in America,” Bharati Mukherjee gives voice to the inner conflict that many immigrants must face in moving to a foreign country. She uses herself and her sister as opposing perspectives which shed some light on some of the decisions immigrants face. While both sisters choose not to follow the tradition of marrying suitors of their father’s choosing, they remain attached to the country they used to call home, as one would expect. However, while Mukherjee’s sister, Mira, intends to return to India after she retires, Mukherjee explains that she, “needs to feel like a part of the community” that she’s adopted. She goes on, “I need to put roots down, to vote and make the difference that I can.” Mukherjee does not simply see America as a new setting in which she will work until retirement. She has found a new home in America.
    Mukherjee acknowledges that she is likely in the minority with this sentiment. While her years in America may have been fruitful and enlightening, there are countless immigrants who, “have staed rooted in one job, one city, one house. . . for the entirety of their productive years.” These individuals often feel disrespected by the resentment shown them by legislation that fails to recognize their efforts and contributions.

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  13. Shane Singh

    Shane Singh
    English 1A

    Muhkerjee’s purpose for this essay was to enlighten the readers of the immigrant struggles in America in regards to their citizenship. The author talked about the time when she and her sister had different experiences during the time for the long-time immigrant residents to take the oath of citizenship. Muhkerjee chose to be an American citizen while her sister continued to be an immigrant American. Her sister spoke, “If America wants to play the manipulative game, I’ll play it, too.”(para.10) It wasn’t until later that the side effects of being an American citizen started to affect the author’s life. She began to feel the “betrayal” of being drove out of Canada, where she was well-employed and living with her husband. She realized the price she had to pay in order to be an American citizen.

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  14. Bryant Tong

    I believe Muhkerjee wrote this essay to empathize with other individuals who have face similar situations. Some evidence that points towards this claim, is the author’s tone between her and her sister. As the two spoke, they each had a tone of sadness and empathized with each other. As the story continues, Muhkerjee describes her process of entering the country and provided insight on how many may feel towards the green card program.

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  15. Rosemarie Compton

    Mukherjee wrote this narrative because of the 15th paragraph, the second to the end. It speaks about how awful it is to have the country which had once accepted you turn against you, and to suddenly be the target of so much hatred. The true reason this essay was written is in the last line of the author’s introduction:
    “It was written to address a movement in Congress to take away government benefits from resident aliens.”

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