Readerscan attach different meanings from the content of the same book,which could be influenced by their understanding of the concepts thatare discussed by the author. Consequently, it is possible for readersof the same text to give different opinions about its content. Inthis paper, I will provide an objective summary of the views of myinstructor about chapter 13 of Jarrar’s book “A map of home”. Iwill then contrast my instructor’s views with my opinion.
Inhis presentation, the instructor discusses his opinions about the keyideas that are presented in Chapter 13 of Jarrar’s book “A map ofhome”. There are many ideas that Jarrar presented in the chapter,but only a few of them caught the attention of the instructor. Theoverall theme that the instructor discusses is a cultural change thatNadali experiences after migrating from the Middle East to the UnitedStates. This is illustrated by the big difference that exists betweenwhat is presented in the soaps and reality. While restating Nadali’sdescription of her experience, the instructor states, “Americaisn’t what she has pictured it to be and of course this is totelevision” (p. 1). In addition, the instructor notices how thetraffic experience in the U.S. differs from the Middle East. Hestates, “Drivers treat those traffic lights are completely new forher in America” (p. 1). The fact that drivers in the U.S. respecttraffic lights that are often ignored and tend to have no meaning inthe Middle East is a significant difference between the two regions(Jarrar 215). The instructor also discovered that Nadali is concernedabout the difficulties that people who immigrate to the U.S. duringtheir adulthood experience when trying to adjust and adopt thepractices of the rest of Americans. The instructor states, “Ittakes a while to read and retrain old habits and one of the habitsthat Nadali parents have is they are antagonistic” (p. 1).Moreover, the instructor notices that Nadali is surprised to see thekoi fish in America since it is mainly consumed in the Asiancountries. The instructor states, “How long this has been theirhome in this particular part of the world, but also on the macrolevel on the bigger level koi fish originally come from Asia” (p.1). The difference in the rights of women is another issue thatattracts attention of the instructor. He states, “In the MiddleEast it’s very unusual for a woman to go and study at theUniversity” (p. 1). This statement indicates a difference in thelevel of freedom that women in the Middle East and America enjoy.
Theinstructor makes a clear presentation of his views about chapter 13of Jarrar’s book, but I have some different opinions. Although theinstructor notices that the American life that is presented in thesoaps is different from reality, I am surprised that he fails tomention that most of the TV programs focus on the entertainment,while failing to present the culture of the American people to theworld. This makes new immigrants to expect to see a society thatdepicts what they see in movies and soaps. In addition, theinstructor holds that the differences between the way Americans anddrivers in the Middle East respect traffic lights is an indication ofculture difference. However, I see this as a difference in the levelof civilization, where Americas perceive the importance of respectingthe law. On the contrary, the use of lights to stop a driver in theMiddle East could be perceived as a nuisance. In addition, theinstructor describes Nadali’s parents as antagonistic people who donot like the habits of the Americans. In my view, these parents areadults who have practiced the culture of the Middle East throughouttheir lives. From the book, it is evident that Nadali, who is achild, is happy and willing to adopt what is practiced in America.Therefore, I see her parents as adults who find it difficult toabandon their culture compared to Nadali, who is young and in theprocess of learning. Therefore, their age affects them more than theaspect of being antagonistic. Moreover, the instructor believes thatthe presence of koi fish in America represents the melting point ofthe culture. However, I this scenario as a representation of themassive immigration of people who come from different parts of theworld to pursue the American dream. These people do not only come toshare the American dream, but also make a significant contribution tothe local society in terms of culture and diet. Most importantly, theinstructor believes that the trend in which American women joinuniversities is an indication of the freedom that they enjoy. In myview, this indicates differences in gender roles and position ofwomen in the society. American women are empowered through educationand civil rights while females in the Middle West are suppressed bymen.
Inconclusion, the instructor and I have different views about the ideasthat are presented in chapter13 of Jarrar’s book “A map of home”.The instructor holds that soaps fail to present the real Americanculture and experiences, but I think that their main goal isentertainment. In addition, I believe that a decision to respecttraffic lights represents differences in terms of civilization asopposed to cultural change. Moreover, the presence of koi fish inAmerica represents the concept of massive immigration and thecontribution that immigrants make to the American culture. Addition,the right of women living in America to join the university indicatesa difference in gender roles as well as the position of women in thetwo societies.
Jarrar,R. Amap of home.New York, NY: Other Press, 2008. Web.