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Discussing Perfume Dreams by Andrew Lam.

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Introduction

Qi Ming Zeng English 209 Essay 1 (Final Draft) In the book "Perfume Dreams" Andrew Lam describes his experiences as a Vietnamese refugee in America; Lam claims that Vietnam and America are fighting for his soul. I think Lam has an American soul because Lam is tempted by America resulting Lam to change his identity. The temptations of the American Dreams lure Lam to become an American. In one of Lam's essays "Child of Two World" (page 3) Lam states that Vietnam is no longer his country; it is so far away from him. He describes Vietnam as "an abstraction". On the other hand, America is so near, outside his windows; he addresses it as "a seduction". The moment Lam claimed Vietnam as an abstraction and America as a seduction, Lam's soul has already tempted by the American Dreams. ...read more.

Middle

(page 31) in front of his father's face; Lam was shocked and offended, yet he was also thrilled by his brother's disobedience. Lam could have lie to protect his family's honor, yet he did not; Lam wants to hold possession of the liberties that the Americans possess. In order for Lam to do so, Lam has to act and think for himself, not living up to his parents' expectations. Lam states that his father scolds him every time Lam speaks English at home; yet Lam ignores his father and yells back gratuitously with English phrases such as "This is really unfair!" or "But you're wrong! So wrong!" (page 37). By speaking up Lam is practicing the liberties of an American and gradually Lam adopts it; Lam's disobedience indicates his gratitude towards the freedoms of act and think. ...read more.

Conclusion

In additions, Lam also gave himself a new name "Andrew" on applying for his U.S. Citizenship; once Lam gets his U.S. Citizenship there is no doubt that Lam has an American soul, which is why Lam applied for U.S. Citizenship. The factors for Lam's Americanization are the temptations of the American Dreams and the possession of American liberties. We can view Lam's Americanization as some kind of container gardening situation. Where as the pot is Vietnam and the ground is America, as Lam's ambitions grow bigger and bigger that little pot of his can no longer sustains it; as a result Lam has to remove himself out of the little pot, to the ground in order for his ambitions to continue growing. In the processes of that Lam's soul gradually adopts the new soil, the America culture. ...read more.

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