We're Not…: Questions

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #4169


    Why does Roman hang two flags on the wall of her dorm room? What do they represent to her?

  • #4170


    I believe she hangs the flags upon her wall to remind her of who she is. Those two flags are symbolic of who she is- Bolivian and American. Her mother wanted her to embrace her Bolivian heritage and became enraged whenever she seemed to be going against those ideals, such as borrowing clothing and doing homework on Sundays. However, Roman realizes she can maintain a balance of her ancestry and her current surroundings and I think those flags are there to remind her of that.
    The two flags represent the two parts of who she is. She isn’t just Bolivian and she isn’t just American, she’s both. By having only one of those flags, it seems that she’s neglecting a portion of who she is, so that’s why she has both.

  • #4212


    I think that the purpose of the author including the fact that she chose to hang both flags is to show that balance of her childhood and her new independent life in college. All throughout her life, her mother always wanted her to stay true to her Bolivian roots by saying “We’re not (blank), Andrea. Why do you have to (blank)”. Her mother was confused why she wanted to assimilate to American culture so badly. When the author wanted to have a sleepover when she was younger, her mother never let her because she would say “We don’t do that in Bolivia”. The author was always torn between wanting to please her parents but she also wanted to live a typical American lifestyle with her friends. When the author went to college, she was able to be “open-minded” and she could make choices for herself like choosing to “borrow clothes, have sleepovers, and do a ton of homework on Sundays” without feeling guilty because she still held onto her Bolivian roots. Both of the flags show that she never has to choose to fit into one culture and that she is able to be whoever she wants to be. She still represents her Bolivian culture while creating the American culture that she dreamed of having.

  • #4240


    The two flags, in my opinion, serve as a reminder to her. They serve a role in shaping her own unique lifestyle and personality. Not only that, it can show the contrast that she experienced growing up in two conflicting lifestyles. I think Roman hangs the two flags because it is a source of pride for her. She says “…I have not left behind that little Bolivian girl…” as a way of remarking that despite becoming american in personality, she still retains her Bolivian values. The flags illustrate her diversity in which taught her everything she now knows. The two flags then represent her childhood. She goes back to her life as a child and how it shaped her as an adult. When her mother scolded her for borrowing a sweater, her “speech” was an insight to the young Roman into just how her two cultures which she was growing up in were so different. “‘We’re not American'” was often said by her mother yet despite her mother’s remarks, Roman was increasingly gaining american values yet she still respected her Bolivian roots at the same time. Overall, the flags represent her, her personality and her beliefs.

  • #4256


    Rome hangs two flags in her room because each flag means something important to her and is a part of who she is. The Bolivian flag represents the only culture she truly knows and feels comfortable with. Although the beginning of the essay makes it seem as though she disagrees with Bolivian culture, she is still proud of it because ‘Bolivian culture was the only thing she was ever exposed to, and she loved it’. She hangs the American flag to signify a new beginning. She knows that she will have to become more “open-minded” now that she is attending an American liberal arts college. The American flag shows who she will become. That isn’t to say that she will lose her Bolivian values, but rather she will create a blended culture between the two because of their influences on her.

  • #4269


    The two flags represent her comfort with the two separate parts of her identity. This is shown in the closing paragraph when Roman writes, “I had become comfortable enough with my identity and culture that showing pride in another country would not take away from my heritage.” When she expresses that she would have to change her conservative cultural position “to become more open-minded,” she shows her self realization that her Bolivian culture that she was raised with will be much different than the American culture surrounding her at Boston College, so she will have to adapt. When discussing her fresh arrival at Boston College, Roman states, “I would not have to lose my cultural identity, however.” This statement serves as an example of Roman’s knowledge and confidence in who she is and who she wants to be. The Bolivian flag represents her non-changing cultural identity. The two flags together serve as a reminder that she is a unique blend between the girl exposed to strong influence of Bolivian values and culture, and the girl exposed to the American culture currently around her. No matter how much she changes and adapts to the newfound American culture around her, she shouldn’t and won’t ever forget about the Bolivian girl she was raised as.

  • #4280


    In Roman’s essay, “We’re Not…”, Roman analyzed how heavily influenced she was by her family’s heritage and how it almost dictated her childhood. For example, “In Bolivia…We’re not American, Andrea. Why do you want a sleepover?”, explains how her mother constantly mentions how their “different” from Americans.
    However when she moves to Boston college, she puts not only the Bolivian flag, but also the American one. And I believe that these two flags symbolize, to her, the unity that she has created with both cultures and how open-minded she has become, since moving to college. Now she realizes that she has, “not left behind that little Bolivian girl who received the mouth-washing with dishwasher soap”, and basically balance the best of both worlds. The Bolivian flag symbolizes her Bolivian values and childhood. While the American flag symbolizes a new start and a broader look onto the world.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by  .

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