The world is becoming smaller day by day, connecting millions if not all within the frame of internet and telecommunication. Hence, traveling abroad or immigration to a foreign land is quite common nowadays. Of course, the decision to move to a new country entails many benefits; however, it is not without problems. One such negative after-effect would be the possible family feud that arises from the clash between family members, mainly that of parents and children, often sparked by provision of new education. Language plays a part in family dispute.
As the first generation immigrants, parents are usually confined by their teachings in the language and cultural lessons of their mother country while the offspring are ready to make transition to their newly-adopted home. Problems often arise in most mundane circumstances such as calling the bank, buying clothes, and more. Chang Rae Lee narrates about a personal experience of encountering a bitter argument with his mother as he “was getting more and more impatient with the difficulty she encountered in doing everyday things”.
Although a very trivial matter, the mother can’t make a phone call because of the language barrier. When the son was asked to make a phone call for his mother, the author felt that his mother’s life was “so small to him”, thus creating a disorder between the two. Language is a way to connect and even divide the family members. Often when families immigrate to a foreign country, the roles of the parents and the offspring switch. Already accustomed to their home country’s culture and values, parents become unfamiliar with the new lifestyle and environment, thus losing responsibility of daily tasks and circumstances.
On the other hand, children have the opportunity to adjust themselves to new perceptions and settings, granting them the responsibility to take care of trivial matters. Such reversal of roles that create dysfunctional unnatural circumstances causes the spark of family feud. Wounded and entangled, family feud caused by education is not easily curable.
However, Chang Rae Lee, though he experienced a hard time with his mother because of his adoption of American education, recover his bondage with his mother because of his efforts to help her cope with her incoming death, allowing him to gain true understanding of his mother’s sentiments toward him. Through realization of love and sacrifice, the author is able to overcome the family.