Native Speaker Themes

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Language as Source of Identity

Henry Park equates language or mastery of language with identity. For immigrants, their use of language is as clear an identifier as their physical appearance and style of dress. Henry has the physical features of those coming from the previous country yet he speaks the language as well or better than any other native-born citizen.

Every time Henry thinks about his father and tries to describe his father's belief about a given subject, Henry includes some of his father's language. To Henry, the way his father expressed his ideas through language did more than convey his father's ideas on a single narrow topic. It also described who his father was. In most cases, Henry's father's use of language identified him as a "stranger" or someone from outside the governing society and someone who at best could hope for an auxiliary role in that society...

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This section contains 880 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Native Speaker Study Guide
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