5 pages/≈1375 words
Literature & Language
cultural misunderstanding (Essay Sample)
Using what you¡¯ve learned about writing evaluative arguments in Good Reasons, analyze The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down. In the first paragraph of chapter 18, Anne Fadiman makes the following claim: I have come to believe that her [Lia¡¯s] life was ruined not by septic shock or noncompliant parents but by cross-cultural misunderstanding. Analyze her claim, taking a position on whether her claim is correct. Do you agree with her claim? Why or why not? Whether you agree with the claim or disagree, make sure to write a strong thesis statement taking a position on her claim. In the body of the paper, offer good reasons to support your own position. Offer details from the book and other sources to back your position up. Make sure you consider Fadiman¡¯s evidence in-depth as part of your analysis, evaluating her argument. The paper must be 5-6 pages. Your primary focus should be analyzing this book but you must include at least four different types of sources (example, a book and a newspaper article, or a magazine article and a personal interview) and must use MLA style citation, both in-text and in a works cited page. source..
Kaleng Wong Name of professor Engl 100 Date Cultural misunderstanding In "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down;, Anne Fadiman makes the following claim: "I have come to believe that her life was ruined not by septic shock or noncompliant parents but by cross-cultural misunderstanding.; CLAIM I agree with her claim as the story highlights: language barrier, poor translation, cultural misunderstanding, lack of corporation between hospital workforce and patients, mistrust and different cultural practices. Miscommunication is a major issue in most hospitals. "The most common case is when patients and the hospital personnel do not speak a common language (Ger-Ann 27). Interpreters can sometimes be insufficient as seen in the story when Lia`s mother spoke on and on for almost four minutes but the interpreter simply gave a contrasting answer. In the story, both the medical personnel and Lia`s parents were inclined towards saving the little girl`s life. However, language breakdown and lack of interest by the hospital personnel in understanding the value of cultural practices of the Hmong beliefs caused a tragedy in Anne`s story. "Such misunderstanding at the hospital is a source of difficulty that causes confusion and resentment in all parties;, Ger-Ann 27). Ann Fadiman`s work shows how the Hmong girl and her parents suffer as a result of cultural misunderstanding. Lia`s family puts the blame on the departure of one of her spirits that is responsible for her poor health and wellbeing which occurred, "the moment her elder sister Yer accidentally slammed the door with such ferocity that she frightened a â€˜dab`, away;, (Fadiman 20). The parents intend to find the lost spirit through introduction of the Hmong medical and spiritual practices. Hmong view spirits as beings and objects that can be frightened away. The absence of these spirits results to death and diseases. Their sickness and bad fortunes is blamed on the soul stealing creature. However, they do have a system of healing. When compared to the westernized doctors who know the causes and effects of diseases, the Hmong have on the contrary, a different understanding in terms of diseases. It is their strong belief that has kept their strong culture alive and given them strong mental and physical strength. Their different understanding sparks difficulties. Cross-cultural misunderstanding is vividly brought out via the difficulties between the Hmong and the American Agencies. The doctors diagnose Lia with epilepsy while her parents strongly believe that she has lost one of her spirits. This places the parents and doctors on differing angles. It is due to this cross-cultural misunderstanding that the girl`s parents fail to administer the doctor`s drug prescription correctly to their child. "For them the crisis was the treatment, not epilepsy" (Fadiman 53) to the parents, western medicine was making their daughter sicker than before although the irony was that they had failed to give her medication correctly. "The mortality rate of Hmong between infant and nineteen years is seventeen times more than the non-Hispanic Caucasian;, (Yang, Mills, and Nasser 8). This is according to a research done in California. Most of them do not have prenatal care because they dislike the checkup given by doctors. In the Hmong custom, which is a concrete point, Lia`s severe seizures bring a clash between Western medication and Hmong traditional spiritual healing. The contrast impacts to the reception of inadequate treatment. Hmong`s spiritual belief gives a rise to mixed health care to Lia. Hmong has the strong beliefs on the spirit that is close related to everything in their life. There are all kinds of possibility which can cause soul lost in the tradition Hmong beliefs, for instances, "eating the wrong food, the negligence of making offerings to one`s anc...
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