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"On Going Home" / "Coming Home Again" / "Green Cards"

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Heather Malhiot

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of "On Going Home" / "Coming Home Again" / "Green Cards"

"On Going Home" / "Coming Home Again" / "Green Cards"
Heather and Estaban felt thankful for what they have. All three essays had a melancholy tone to them while describing different struggles in each of the authors' lives.
Ronnie has a different connection with the text being a previous officer actually seeing with his own eyes their great difficulties dealing with immigration issues. He felt intrigued with the other two stories.
Caleb was the only member who did not maintained the same impression that was originally made the first time reading.
The three pieces are found in the "Personal Accounts" section of The Norton Reader
They demonstrate the rhetorical mode of narration by giving a list of events in their lives in paragraph form.
Description is another mode that all three passages have in common
For example, in “On Going Home” Didion states, “That I am trapped in this particular irrelevancy is never more apparent to me than when I am home. Paralyzed by the neurotic lassitude engendered by meeting one’s past at every turn, around every corner, inside every cupboard, I go aimlessly from room to room.”
Didion deliberates many ideas in her narrative including the concept of home, extended family, and morals.
For example, Didion expresses, “A few weeks ago in a San Francisco bar I saw a pretty young girl on crystal take her clothes off and dance for the cash prize in an “amateur-topless” contest.”
Didion has clearly seen a decline in morals over the years, as we all have in our time as well.
She feels as though it is no longer a shock
We completely agree with her perspective because we have seen with our own eyes our youth going downhill and losing sight of all morals, tradition, and respect.
“On Going Home” by Joan Didion: A woman is visiting her family for her daughter's first birthday in the Central Valley of California. She explains how her family lives and how her husband does not understand, and does not like that her behavior changes when she goes home.
-Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, LLC in 1966.
“Coming Home Again” by Chang-Rae Lee: The author spends time with his mother who is dying from stomach cancer. He recollects all of the memories he had with her in the past of her amazing cooking and sending him to boarding school for him to have a better educated American life.
- Published by International Creative Management, Inc in 1995.
“Green Cards” by Alberto Alvaro Rios. In the essay, Rios writes about his experience moving from Mexico to the United States. He describes how different life is in the US compared to Mexico. Rios tells how they are treated different here and the transition from green (Mexico) to blue (USA).
-Published by the Indiana Review in October 1995.

Green and blue: Rios compares the United States and Mexico in “Green Cards” using the colors green and blue as symbolism.
“In Mexico, the color was green. Here, it is blue. And that Latin-American green is not the green of here, in the way that this blue is not the same blue in Mexico. The eyes, like the legs, have to learn over.”
Kalbi: Lee uses symbolism in “Coming Home Again” as well. Kalbi, the Korean food his mom made was something he wanted to prepare for his mother when she was sick; however, he chose not to because he didn’t want to ruin the memories he had previous established with kalbi as a child watching his mom cooking.
In “Green Cards”, we found that immigration issues are very complex, and that our government is in no hurry to fix this broken system, which is shocking considering families are suffering on a daily basis; in some cases are being separated.
“Coming Home Again” made us feel for the author because it is a touchy subject. It is generally disturbing that cancer still has no cure and is affecting more and more people every day.
The movie Angela’s Ashes reminded us of Didion’s “On Going Home” because in both of them the husband does not understanding his wife.
In the movie, he cannot understand her because she is speaking in code. The passage represents the movie because when Didion visits her family it seems as though she is speaking in code too.
The book My Mother’s Keeper had a strong connection to Lee’s “Coming Home Again” since the mom is dying of cancer in both texts.
The movie Mi Vida Loca connects with “Green Cards” because it is about people immigrating from Mexico to the US.
Similarities between the authors and their work
Extremely detailed with their lives.
Older pieces
Have a connection through their own personal meanings of “home”.
Born in the 1900’s, but won majority of their awards after their deaths.
Raised in the United States
Unique, but have qualities that resemble each other.
Change-Rae Lee used an enormous amount of description in his narrative
Didion and Rios used quite a bit of description, but they went more towards their thoughts and ideas rather than what they see, hear, smell, etc.
Full transcript