weekly discussion

1) Post 4 conceptual questions for the Cathy Park Hong readings (2 for “An Education” and 2 for “The Indebted”).

Try to make your questions specific. Refer to particular lines/quotes/ideas when framing your questions.

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Please do not just quote a line of text and ask what it means.

Recall that conceptual questions open up discussion for various viewpoints. The answers for conceptual questions are not easily/factually found in the text.

+upload all 4 questions in 1 post+

here is an example:

“An Education”

In “An Education,” Hong focuses around her friendship with Erin and Helen throughout college. They often fought, and felt a strain on their relationship because of their art, and personal issues. Hong often writes about violent fights, and intense screaming amongst one another. Do you think their relationship was healthy? How has Cathy’s relationship with Helen and Erin shaped her as a writer and artist?

Hong’s friendship with Helen seems volatile and unpredictable. Hong shows judgement and hate towards Helen, yet sometimes feels confidence and empowerment with her. While it seems like there are more negative memories than positive, as she writes, “I would have had a happier four years in college had I never met Helen”(149). Why do you think Hong maintained this unstable relationship with Helen?

“The Indebted”

Hong talks about Asian American children feeling like they owe their life to their immigrant parent. She explains that Asian Americans feel a burden to earn back the losses our parents experienced by proving ourselves in our careers. She writes, “To be indebted is to fixate on the future”(186), focusing on how to repay our parents with our education and future jobs. How does Hong move past these pressures, and reject the idea of feeling indebted?

On page 197 Hong writes,” In Hollywood, whites have churned out dystopian fantasies by imagining themselves as slaves and refugees in the future.” Why do so many entertainment outlets successfully profit off the idea of marginalized pain and trauma? How do these ‘white dystopians’ glorify and minimize the experiences of minorities?

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