October 19, 2014
Summary and Personal Response
Author ('Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl's Habits') by Kim. Her essay describes how she is thrust from her millionaire home in South Korea to Queens New York after her family goes bankrupt. She describes Queens as “the wild west”. (New York Times, 2004) Once in Queens; Suki Kim had a very difficult time adjusting to American Culture and language. She talks about the first words she learned being “F.O.B.” (New York Times, 2004), the meaning of this being, “fresh off the boat”. (New York Times, 2004) She had a very hard time understanding that phrase since she actually flew to America. At 13 she describes taking public transportation for the very first time. This is an important moment in her life as she was used to having been driven by a chauffeur. She also describes being “humiliated” (New York Times, 2004) by having to wash their clothes in Laundromat.
The writer purpose is to bring awareness to the rich world how easy it is to become poor after having it all “More brutal than learning English was facing poverty with a rich girl's habits and memory. In my neighborhood, a girl who grew up with a governess and a chauffeur belonged to a fairy tale. This was no Paris Hilton's "Simple Life," but the beginning of my sobering, often-terrifying, never simple American journey. I soon discovered that I had no choice but to adjust.” (New York Times, 2004) Her tone seems very sad,