The short story Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown is about a teenage girl named Lin who lives in Canada.

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Josefine Kjærsgaard        English assignment         February 28th 2012

3.h - MfG

Essay on Canada

Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown

The short story Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown is about a teenage girl named Lin who lives in Canada. Her parents are of Chinese origin but the family moved to Canada to settle down in Vancouver as foreigners. With them lives Lin’s grandmother who is really sick and needs to be fed every night and it is Lin and her brother’s duty to take turn on doing it. Lin hates doing it because she is disgusted by it, but at the same time she feels guilty about not liking it. The grandmother can’t speak English and nor can’t Lin’s parents. Her parents are not integrated in the Canadian society, but keeps on living like traditional Chinese people in Chinatown. Therefore nothing has changed, both their behavior and the surroundings are the same, except Lin. First of do other Chinese people in Chinatown say that she doesn’t look like a Chinese girl because of her high nose. Second of all has she become a teenager and throughout the story she experiences the same things as every teenager do. She falls in love with her best friend Todd who is a white Canadian boy and as in many other stories, isn’t it possible for them to have a well-functioning relationship, but in this story the cause of it is Lin’s parents. Because she as well as her parents are of Chinese origin, will they not let their daughter be in a relationship with any boy who isn’t Chinese. Her parents are very strict and rich in traditions and Chinese values. But Lin isn’t like her parents or what her parents want her to be. She doesn’t feel Chinese. She rather likes to be together with ‘white’ Canadians than Chinese. So when she falls in love with Todd she bends her parents’ rules. Todd is a boy that every girl looks after and wants to be together with and therefore he is one of the most popular boys in school. He is a rebel so he has his daily visit at the principal of the school’s office. He talks a lot about himself and seems like a real ‘smart-ass’ who doesn’t care so much about Lin. But Lin loves being together with him and maybe her fascination of him blinds her and overshadows how self-centered he really is.

“Todd is very good looking. All the girls at school think so, and it makes me feel good when they turn to look at us walk down the hall together” 

But Todd’s behavior has bad influence on Lin and she becomes a bit rebellious too when she lies to her parents and furthermore when she slaps her father back in a fight when they found out that Lin is together with Todd.

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The conflicts in the short story ‘Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown’ has to do with Lin’s immersion from the culture of her birth into the dominant culture of where she lives right now. The conflicts are created when Lin becomes more like the other kids in Vancouver and starts to distance herself from traditional Chinese culture. There are several reasons that caused Lin to separate from her culture. Firstly, her parents didn’t do much to keep Lin within the culture. The fact that Lin is living in a western society also contributes, and so does her physical and mental growing process. ...

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