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What We All Long For


Annetti Inderlall

on 10 December 2012

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Transcript of What We All Long For

What problems do the characters encounter
while preparing for their journeys? Quy, Tuyen's eldest brother, was lost during the move to Canada, creating a feeling of loss and longing for their parents
Carla's father was cheating on her mother, leading to many arguments, and eventually, Angie's suicide.
Jackie developed trust issues that prevent her from having open relationships with people she can't control
Oku struggles to find himself as he wants to be a poet while his father wants him to make something of himself and 'be a man' Are these problems resolved? No, these problems aren't resolved because:
Their parents are immigrants, making it hard to fit in and get a good job
They're of racial minority
The morals and values taught by the parents aren't common or "normal"
Each have their own private desires which aren't really met by the end of the novel either In a way all the characters have been accepted in Canada. They have been accepted enough to be on their own, make a living and make friends who they are always with but not accepted enough to become what they called a "Real Canadian" because they still struggle in various ways as immigrants. Upon arrival in Canada, how are the characters received? As a whole, what comment does the author of the novel seem to be making about immigration to Canada and chances for a successful transition? Tuyen, a lesbian woman who is trying to make it as an artist in the city
Carla who is trying to work her way through life while fixing the messes that her younger brother makes
Oku, a Jamaican man that is struggling with becoming a poet and musician while dealing with the love he feels for Jackie
Jackie is a woman who owns a small clothing store, balancing her love life between her current boyfriend and Oku
In the novel, there were also chapters that was told from the first perspective of Quy, Tuyen's long lost brother and his adventure in search of his family that was separated from him while they were trying to escape Vietnam. Summary What We All Long For The novel "What We All Long For" portrays the life of 4 Torontonians through different cultural perspectives. Each individual had separated from their family relations and moved out on their own to explore and adventure. The 4 main protagonist have internal problems they have to face within their family, trying to separate themselves from family background and expectations, looking for a way to survive in Toronto on their own. Main Characters What prompts characters in the novel to move to Canada from another part of the world? Tuyen's family escaped from the war in Vietnam on a boat
Jackie's family originally lived in Halifax, but moved to Toronto on a train
Oku and Carla's background's aren't clearly specified, both referred to as black but not as to where exactly they came from and why they moved Tuyen: her family came to Canada escaping the Vietnamese War but when she came to Canada, her father opened a family restaurant. She was able to get a job and go to school as well as her family moved to a rich place in Canada, Richmond Hill. In this particular way she was accepted into Canada but where her family is concerned she is not accepted because she's new to the country so they don't want her leaving to be on her own. They basically don't want her leaving the family due to their fears of losing each other or failure.

Carla: she comes from a dysfunctional family; her dad cheated and her mom committed suicide so she now has a step mom and her dad whom she dislikes. She warmed up to her step mom but she despised her father for she claims its his fault why her mom died and he doesn't like her or her brother Jamal. She decided to live on her own and attend school which is a way how she got accepted in Canada. On the other hand, she has struggles with her brother sometimes that causes her to drop everything and help him or go to her father which always blocks her. Out of all her friends, she is the most accepted immigrant.

Oku: he attended school but he does not live on his own. He lives in his parents' basement. He has been accepted because he has many skills that help him get by.

Jackie: no one knows much about her but that she is independent which is how she is accepted in Canada. She does what is beneficial to her and it helps her get by. Each character attended school when they arrived in Canada which is a big acceptance. Each one dropped out after a while which puts an obstacle to slow them down. Good thing is they were good and close friends from school so they always help each other and are supportive which is another way to be accepted in a new country. Are they able to successfully transition into Canadian Society?
If so, what has made their transition possible?
If not, what issues negatively impact their attempts at transition? Considering the fact that the main characters are all immigrants, along with their different skin colours, they weren’t fully able to transition into Canadian Society. In addition, because of the fact that they are immigrants, their parent’s values, morals and traditions are different from a Canadian Society, which are hard for them to break free from. Considering the fact that Oku, Carla, Jackie are all black, and Tuyen is Asian, no matter what lifestyle they lead, they are always faced
with skin and ethnic discrimination making it hard to
successfully transition into Canadian Society. Brand makes it seem like immigration to Canada will be successful because of the characters in this novel. Proof would be that Tuyen's family owns a restaurant and liives in Richmond Hill. In Tuyen’s family, they had traveled by boat from Vietnam to Toronto. Along the way, they lost the oldest brother Quy, which caused a lot of grief in the family. When they finally settled in their new home in Richmond Hill, it wasn’t so easy for the parents because their English was very limited, making it harder for them to communicate.

In Oku’s family, they had emigrated from Jamaica. At the current age of 25, he still lives with his parent’s and because of that; he is expected to follow his dad’s rules, like waking up every morning and eating breakfast on time.

In Jackie’s family, her parent’s were originally from Halifax, but then, later moved to Toronto once they had found a cheaper rent, and like many normal Canadians, she traveled by train. However, her parents were the type to go clubbing and partying all night.

In Carla’s family, her brother Jamal often gets in trouble with the law and because of that her father would not help bail him out, which then, puts all the responsibility onto her making it harder for her to live as a normal Canadian citizen. Tuyen's parents have been looking for their son named Quy who's been lost ever since their immigration to Canada.
Carla's parents have been arguing ever since they've moved to Toronto and the domestic abuse resulted in her mother's death (suicide).
Oku feels like he's constantly in his father's shadow because he's not the kind of son his father wished for.
Jackie doesn't seem to speak with her parents anymore, there was very little development from her in the story. However, the truth is that the relationship between the members of the family have been ruined. What do you long for?
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