We're Not…: What is notable about Roman's concluding paragraph?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #4182


    Throughout Roman’s piece she writes about her strict mother’s Bolivian rules. Roman was scolded for borrowing another girls sweater, wanting to attend a sleepover, and doing homework on a Sunday night. Each time her mother would compare American lifestyle to that of Bolivia’s. Roman’s mother would tell Roman that they “”We’re not American”” (10). This just strengthens the amount of Bolivian influence Roman had to grow up with while living in America.
    The importance of Roman’s conclusion was to describe how her mother’s influence affects her now as she lives on her own. She writes how she keeps both the American flag and the Bolivian flag hanging on her wall. The reason for this is that she hasn’t “left behind that Bolivian girl” (27), but instead remembers her heritage and adds American customs.

  • #4184


    Roman’s concluding paragraph ties the two battling identities she discusses throughout her essay. Roman discusses the challenges of living in America with a conservative Bolivian family. Her mother instills Bolivian values of “…not borrowing clothes from other people”, and not being allowed to sleepover because “everyone has their own house for a reason.” These strict rules make Roman feel trapped in her Bolivian identity whilst surrounded by completely different values in America. Her mother repeatedly instills in her the concept that “we’re not American”, in an effort to remind Roman of her cultural roots and to not lose herself in the completely new American culture. Roman does not address the significance of her battling these two identities until the last paragraph, where she discusses the importance of possessing a Bolivian and American identity. She explains that her strict Bolivian upbringing actually allowed her to be more confident enough in her own culture to appreciate and embrace other ones. Getting to the main point in the last paragraph allowed her to use the majority of the essay to explain her early life, and allow readers to fully understand her challenging experiences of possessing two identities. In the concluding paragraph, she is able to explain why she appreciates the way her mother raised her. The paragraph exposes her knowledge and maturity to understand her mother’s techniques and her gratitude towards her.

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  • #4217


    The final paragraph in Roman’s essay shows a change in attitude of the narrator. Throughout the essay, the narrator commits certain “unacceptable actions.” These actions, such as borrowing clothing, sleepovers, and Sunday work, go against her mother’s traditional Bolivian views. By stating, “I don’t see why it is such a big deal,” shows that Roman initially challenged her mothers views, while “I always longed for that sleepover” shows that she sometimes wished that she never experienced her Bolivian culture. This theme of questioning and longing is repeated until the final paragraph. Roman begins by stating, “I had become comfortable enough with my identity and culture” and then later “I have not left behind that little Bolivian girl.” These statements not only show that the narrator has now embraced and accepted her Bolivian culture, but also that she is thankful for being exposed to it. She realizes that her background gives her a unique identity. This last paragraph presents a shift from questioning and longing attitude to one of gratitude towards her culture.

  • #4230


    In Roman’s essay “We’re Not…” she compares the Bolivian culture to American culture. I believe that Roman’s purpose was to compare these to cultures and identify that one cannot over come the other, a person can be a part of two very different lifestyles and still classify ones self with each. In Roman’s piece she often relates her Bolivian side with her mother and her American side with her friends. She paints her mother as though she is stuck in her Bolivian ways unable to accumulate to new customs. Often using the phrase, “In Bolivia,” to scold and/or teach Roman about the customs of her family heritage. But Roman also illuminates the fact that her mother simply doesn’t understand how Roman could want to stray away from the culture she herself grew up in. Her mother, “response was always, Why?” She could not see that her daughter was a mixture of both cultures. A meeting point of their heritage and a new country. Roman even writes, “I have an American flag next to my Bolivian one.” She sees herself as a Bolivian and an American woman, who realizes that not everyone will understand her devotion to both but that she can have a devotion to both.

  • #4236


    Throughout the whole piece, Roman compares the customs of American culture to Bolivian culture. The tone in the beginning shows the frustration of Roman to the cultural ways of Bolivia such as not borrowing clothes because “it is seen as an insult to the family…” Roman does not understand why a simple act of kindness from her friend was seen as an insult to her family’s economic well being. She is also frustrated by her mothers noncompliance to letting her have a sleepover with her friends solely because “We’re not American, Andrea. We don’t do that in Bolivia.” The culture her mother instills in Roman frustrates her because they live in America where, as Roman states, “certain unacceptable actions in our culture were quite acceptable here in the states.

    The final paragraph serves as a tone shift from frustration to acceptance. Roman finally accepts her mother’s culture realizing it makes her unique, “showing pride in another country would not take away from my heritage.” She is able to do as she pleases such as “borrow clothes…have sleepovers…do a ton of work on Sundays…” She embraces these American ideas and culture without forgetting what her mother taught her about Bolivia. She knows that no matter what she does, She is always Bolivian at heart, which is why she hangs both flags on her wall: a simple reminder of who she is, part American and part Bolivian.

  • #4260


    The last paragraph of “We’re Not…” by Andrea Roman really shows her changing attitude towards how she was raised by her mom with the ideas from Bolivian culture and being kept away from parts of American culture. She says “Showing pride in another country would not take away from my heritage.” Meaning that she had learned lessons from her mom about how she needed to act to be a “true Bolivian”, but also she grew up in America and was around the culture of Americans for most of her life. At the end of the essay when she bought the American flag, it really shows how she’s matured and is able to accept both sides of culture even after being kept away from it for most of her life.

  • #4273


    Roman’s concluding paragraph reveals the strong ties she holds with her parents, and really, with the cultural identity her mother fought so hard to preserve through Roman’s childhood. As she writes in the opening paragraph, “…, the biggest obstacles were the small cultural differences.” Like any new immigrant to the country, it appears that Roman’s mother pushes hard to preserve some sense of uniqueness and individuality from her native Bolivia for herself and her children; to that end, she constantly judges and expects Roman to conduct herself according to traditional Bolivian, not American, cultural values(“…We don’t do that in Bolivia… In Bolivia, we do not borrow clothes…”).
    While this often results in Roman clashing with her mother, her mother’s strictness and unwillingness to veer away from her instilled values carries over to Roman, in her strong attachment to her unique identity and her comfortable pride in displaying it. This goes to accomplish what appear to be her mother’s end goals; to keep her native Bolivian culture’s head above the the figurative waters of indiscriminate assimilation into American society, and have her own children recognize and show pride in the values of that culture.

  • #4275


    Overall, the last paragraph, shows a slight shift in the tone of the author. As previously mentioned, the paragraphs before the concluding one depicted the author’s annoyance with the standards in which her mother had for her. One can easily see her frustration when the author discusses her mother’s responses like “We’re not American, Andrea. Why do you want to have a sleepover?”, as if the mother was strictly against adapting to the culture of America, or “we do not borrow clothes from other people.. seen as an insult to the family”. The author’s eagerness to accustom to the culture and fit in “because all my [her] friends” are doing it. This was in deep contrast with her Bolivian family who wanted to stick to their traditions. The last paragraph shows how the author has accepted and “become comfortable enough with my [her] identity and culture”. It’s quite intriguing because readers can see the author as quite bitter about how her mom reacted to her desires to acclimate to U.S. culture. However, the last paragraph shows how the author doesn’t cease to carry her Bolivian heritage with her. This shows her development in her level of maturity and how she has embraced her two cultures equally.

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