Multi-Cultural Literature

Hello, my name is Lee, welcome to my blog. I’m 17 years old, and very passionate about writing and literature. I am also a Third Culture Kid who has grown up in many different cultures, so this subject of multicultural literature is very close to my heart. I’ve lived in China, Cambodia, Thailand, and visited many others countries, and I have friends from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. Learning more about other cultures through literature combines two of the things I am most passionate about, so in my biased view, multicultural literature is one of the most fascinating things I think anyone can learn. That is why this blog aims to take what I’ve learned about a few different cultures and their literature, and portray it as best as I can, while also suggesting ways that you can teach others about the themes found in these works. Here is a short overview of multicultural/global literature that you can look over before moving on to the different posts, and I hope you enjoy learning with me.  

 

Multicultural literature is a fascinating subject that allows one to learn about multiple cultures from many different artistic perspectives. One of the best ways to learn about another culture is by reading the works created by said culture. The way things are written, what is focused on, what happens, the people in them, and the people writing them all reveal something about the culture it came from. In this blog, we analyze literature from 8 different cultural settings, identifying what they show us about their culture of origin. 

 

 Global literature isn’t really defined, but I would define it as ‘literature representing aspects of a culture’. This is a very broad definition, but to narrow it down further, I feel like would take away from the ‘global’ aspect of it. Through this blog and it’s posts, I explore the idea of global literature with you, and potentially your students! I have added suggestions for ways to engage your class with each theme and subject at the end of each post, but of course feel free to change them to suit your class however you need to. 

 

20th century literature is an excellent example of how literature shows the blurring of national boundaries. With the 20th century came a lot more interaction between nations, and thus more combining of cultures. Literature from these times reflect it. Stories from other cultures are more readily accessible, multi-cultural people are writing about their experiences, and the overall increasing communication between culture all add to the abundance of literature showing the blurring boundaries. 

 

20th century literature also portrays the struggles that come with cultural identity. For example, the story “Wedding at the Cross” discussed in the 8th post, “Blurring of Cultural Boundaries in Global Literature”, shows the struggle of a couple as the differing cultural expectations change them. The husband starts much more connected to his native culture, but out of wounded pride and a desire to prove his worth to his wife’s more Western cultured parents, he loses that connection, and his wife struggles with the change. 

Blurring of Cultural Boundaries in Global Literature

This week's focus is on global literature, literature that shows the blending of two cultural identities. This week's examples are as follows:  "The Perforated Sheet" by Salman Rushdie, a story about a man who has recently been educated in Western medicine treating...

Symbolism and Choice in Latin American Literature

Symbolism and Choice in Latin American Literature

This week's readings are full of examples of symbolism and choice. The works we will be studying this week are the following. The first is a set of two poems by Octavio Paz, called 'I Speak of The City' and 'Central Park'. These two poems use symbolism to make even...

Contemporary Eastern Literature

Contemporary Eastern Literature

This week's reading all have a theme of human connection. The first story is "Diary of a Madman" by Lu Xun, about a man suffering from delusions that everyone around him is a cannibal planning to eat him. Throughout the story, despite his delusions, the reader can see...

Themes of Life in Ancient Eastern Literature

Themes of Life in Ancient Eastern Literature

This week's post focuses on the theme of valuing human experience and nature shown in Ancient Eastern literature. The readings focused on this week are as follows: "Classics of Poetry" compiled by Confucius, a collection of poems by Du Fu, and "Yuan Zhen, the Story of...

Themes of Powerlessness and Choice in Literature

Themes of Powerlessness and Choice in Literature

The works for this week are all centered around themes of powerlessness and choice. Our first work is 'The Metamorphosis', by Kafka. In 'The Metamorphosis', the main character awakens and finds himself to be transformed into a massive insect, powerless to change his...