Essay: The Oriental Contingent, by Diana Chang

Sample Essay

Many books, articles and stories have been written about the influences of a culture upon a society or that of a society on a culture however few have been written about people of the same culture learning to live in a foreign country. One such is “The Original Contingent” by Diana Chang. The “Original Contingent” was published in 1989.

In the “Oriental Contingent”, Diana Chang brings to light the ways in which the Asian populace measures up and compares each other. “The Original Contingent” achieves its purpose by taking us through a journey of two young women as they both consider each other to be of a better native heritage than the other.

By portraying the two women pushed apart by the extent to which they have absorbed the cultural concept of being Chinese and having a Chinese heritage, the Original Contingent explores how the Chinese American culture evolves horizontally within the community and is passed down vertically.

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