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Notes of a Native Speaker

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Jennifer Garcia

on 10 November 2015

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Transcript of Notes of a Native Speaker



Eric Liu, a Chinese American engaged in politics


Written in 1998 as a way to find his own cultural identity


Asian- Americans or
anyone who understands and relates to what he is going through

Language & Tone

Rhetorical Modes/Purpose

1. Narration:
Explains life experiences and ties it together with the idea that race classification
should be obsolete

2. Tone:
Casual but educational

1. Defines himself and identifies problems he faces
Second Generation Asian American who is rather successful
Race v. Class and what is Assimilation?

2. Experiences as a Child
Social Conformity / Stereotypes

3. Self-Identification and Going Against Stereotypes
College Experiences
Racial Identity= “Shackle”
“Atypical Asian”

4. “This is how it is”

Notes of a Native Speaker
Anjali, Jennifer, Leila, Minhaz
Language and Tone
SOAPS Tone (continued)
Rhetorical Strategies


Rhetorical Strategies

Rhetorical Strategies
Discussion Questions
1) Have you ever tried to alter your image to fit in a specific group?

2) Do you think Eric Lui is right with his definition of "assimilation?"

3) Do you believe some people are held back successfully due to their race?
"I listen to National Public Radio.
I wear khaki dockers.
I own a pair of brown suede bucks.
I eat gourmet greens.
I have few friends 'of color'"(205).

Lui begins his essay with a list a ways someone can say they are "white"
There is sarcasm as these are stereotypes given to whites which will lead him into his argument about assimilation.
Being a narrative, the whole essay are accounts from his on life as he looks back
With anaphora, Lui emphasizes certain words by repeating them: "I," "who," "when I," "banana"

own assimilation began long before
was born. It began with
been to the West.
traded Chinese formality for the more laissez-fair stance of this country.

made their way by hard work and quiet adaptation.
fashioned a comfortable life in a quiet development in a second-tier suburb" (207).

Rhetorical Questions and Imagery
Liu includes a series of rhetorical questions in which he questions his youth and present life
These questions also have the reader question themselves and empathize in his position

He uses descriptive language to generate images of his past
To inform people on what it's like to be "bicultural" or how he calls it "omnicultural"

Addressing the misconception of the word "assimilation" and what it means for immigrants


Informal tone. Calm and reflective about his past.
Organization Principle

1. Reference to Others
Monica Sone (Chap. 2 )
Meena Alexander (Chap 3)
James Baldwin (Chap. 4 )

Anecdotes and Anaphora


Liu incorporates dashes to further elaborate on his ideas, within the sentences.
example: "...that aspiration–and the imputation of the aspiration–now seems..." (206)
He also uses colons, commas, and semi colons to put emphasis on the following clause.
example: "...mean to overdramatize: there was, in these teenage benalities..." (209)
Language and Tone (continued)
Tone: Although the tone throughout the passage can be described as informal and casual, it can also be seen as critical, and later, satisfied.
Language and Tone (continued)
Liu repetes "I", in order to establish a more personal connection with the audience. The use of "I" helps the reader try to be more understanding. This also creates an informal atmostphere.
Diction: Repitition
He also repetes the word "assimilation", which is important to the entire purpose of this writing piece. The use of the word helps understand what it is like to be "omnicultural".
Uses a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, commulative, complex, complex compound). From this it can be understood that no such pattern of writing is followed (informal)
Full transcript