The Third Dumpster Essay

Words: 1362
Pages: 6

The Third Dumpster

In "The Third Dumpster", we meet the two Chinese brothers Morehouse and Goodwin, who are trying to get along in American society. The author Gish Jen is a second generation Chinese-American, whose parents emigrated from China to America. Many of her works focus on the multicultural America, in which many different ethnic groups live, and how these get along with each other. "The Third Dumpster" was written in 2013 .
The story is told through the eyes of Goodwin, as the third-person narrator is bound to him. His stream of thoughts is shown to the reader, which makes the reader sympathize with him. The story starts in medias res, where we are told about the two brothers' situation. We are told about the house, which
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They have grown up in the States, which could mean that they only have spoken their traditional language at home, and English everywhere else. Again, this can be seen in their way of speech. “Are you saying they are better off than we are? That they have choices where we have none? That is a gross distortion of the situation! argued Goodwin. […]” (l. 88). The story makes use of language and its style of writing to show the characters way of life in Western society. As mentioned earlier, the brothers use a more “every-day-speech” language in opposition to the parents, who hasn’t mastered the language. As seen in the quote, Goodwin also uses the word “gross distortion”, which normally wouldn’t be used by people such as the parents. Again, the story makes use of the language to show its characters’ level of assimilation in western society. Furthermore, the parents’ disgust toward the American lifestyle can be seen in the mother’s comments towards Goodwin’s earlier marriage: “You know why your wife dump you? She is completely American, that’s why.” (l. 172).
A certain contrast can also be seen between the two brothers, Goodwin, and Morehouse. Through Goodwin's stream of thoughts, he states that he admires his brother in some way: "How Goodwin wished he had said that! And how much he wished he had ended up like Morehouse instead of like Morehouse turned inside out." (l. 166). The quote also marks the fact, that the two brothers almost can be seen as