Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits was written by Suki Kim, the author of The Interpreter, an award winning novel. It is a story that revolves around how she has to adapt to a new lifestyle after a major loss to her family that was once very wealthy. Essentially, she describes how she has to move to Queens New York from her millionaire home in South Korea and adjust to her new, but rather difficult life in America with the habits and memories of a rich girl.
At the beginning of the story, Kim describes a lifestyle defined by remarkable affluence, contrary to her punishing lifestyle in America since she has to live in an ugly house owned by a Korean family. Although she encounters new friends, she finds it challenging to come into terms with the fact that she was now Asian. She states, “I never thought of my skin as being the same shade,” (Roen, Glau & Maid, 2012; pg. 62). Coming to terms with her new identity rendered Kim feeling more confused.
Kim also points out how different her culture is from the America’s. For instance, students in Korea are taught to bow to their teachers, unlike the case with the American culture. English was her second language, and the author describes how she’d to enroll for her ESL classes. However, Kim mentions that she enjoys speaking Korean with Korean-American kids. The class grows to what she calls a 1.5 generation, which “can just about maneuver our anchor,” (Roen et al., 2012; 62).
She mentions that learning English wasn’t as worse as her experience with the poverty she faces with a rich girl’s habits and memory. Even so, she had not choice, but to adjust to her new reality, particularly by taking on a job as a fish filleter at a market (Roen et al., 2012). In essence, the story describes Kim’s journey to the lower class America.
The purpose of the essay is to demonstrate how change in the life of a person can be necessitated by life experiences that are beyond the control