October 20, 2011
“Notes of a Native Speaker” Summary In 1998, Eric Liu wrote a book about his struggle with acculturation titled “The Accidental Asian”. A chapter within the book called “Notes of a Native Speaker” depicts an essay written by Liu which fully describes his struggles with race and how he overcame them. Eric Liu is an American born Taiwanese Asian. His parents immigrated to the United States before he was born and in so, gave him a mixed cultural background. He started becoming a writer after attending Yale University and graduating from Harvard Law School. In his “Notes of a Native Speaker” author Eric Liu argues that as he was “becoming white” he was achieving, learning the ways of the upper …show more content…
Liu points out that he is “not proud to have had this mentality” (Liu 43). After a while at the college he began to show signs of learning the culture and after some time wished that he had been comfortable in his own skin as a teenager. He began to realize that all his troubles to attempt to fit in with the other white kids was pointless. Liu sums up what he has learned from his childhood by saying, “I do not want to be white. I only want to be integrated” (Liu 51). He concludes his essay by giving a brief explanation how assimilation works now. “In every assimilation, there is a mutiny against history -- but there is also a destiny, which is to redefine history. What it means to be American -- in spirit, in blood -- is something far more borrowed and commingled than anything previous generations ever knew. Alongside the pain of migration, then, and the possibility, there is this truth: America is white no longer, and it will never be white again.” (Liu 53)
Liu, Eric. “Notes of a Native Speaker.” The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker. Ed. Jon Karp. New York: Random House, 1998. 33-56.