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Asian American poetry from Hawaii

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Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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Asian American poetry from Hawaii,the Pacific island state of the United States,is generally characterizable in one of two ways: either as portraying a model multicultural paradise,or as exemplifying familiar Asian American literary themes such as generational conflict.In this light,the recent work of Wing Tek Lum in Expounding the Doubtful Points is striking for its demand to be understood on its own terms. Lum offers no romanticized notions of multicultural life in Hawaii,and while he does explore themes of family,identity,history,and literary tradition,he does not do so at the expense of attempting to discover and retain a local sensibility. For Lum such a sensibility is informed by the fact that Hawaii’s population,unlike that of the continental U.S.,has historically consisted predominantly of people of Asian and Pacific island descent,making the experience of its Asian Americans somewhat different than that of mainland Asian Americans.

In one poem,Lum meditates on the ways in which a traditional Chinese lunar celebration he is attending at a local beach both connects him to and separates him from the past.In the company of new Chinese immigrants,the speaker realizes that while ties to the homeland are comforting and necessary,it is equally important to have “a sense of new family” in this new land of Hawaii,and hence a new identity—one that is sensitive to its new environment. The role of immigrants in this poem is significant in that,through their presence,Lum is able to refer both to the traditional culture of his ancestral homeland as well as to the flux within Hawaiian society that has been integral to its heterogeneity.Even in a laudatory poem to famous Chinese poet Li Po (701–762 A.D.), which partly serves to place Lum’s work within a distinguished literary tradition,Lum refuses to offer a stereotypical nostalgia for the past,instead pointing out the often elitist tendencies inherent in the work of some traditionally acclaimed Chinese poets.

Lum closes his volume with a poem that further points to the complex relationships between heritage and local culture in determining one’s identity. Pulling together images and figures as vastly disparate as a famous Chinese American literary character and an old woman selling bread,Lum avoids an excessively romantic vision of U.S.culture, while simultaneously acknowledging the dream of this culture held by many newly arrived immigrants.

The central image of a communal pot where each person chooses what she or he wishes to eat but shares with others the “sweet soup / spooned out at the end of the meal”is a hopeful one; however,it also appears to caution that the strong cultural emphasis in the U.S.on individual drive and success that makes retaining a sense of homeland tradition difficult should be identified and responded to in ways that allow for a healthy new sense of identity to be formed.

1. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main point of the passage?

(A) The poetry of Lum departs from other Asian American poetry from Hawaii in that it acknowledges its author’s heritage but also expresses the poet’s search for a new local identity.
(B) Lum’s poetry is in part an expression of the conflict between a desire to participate in a community with shared traditions and values and a desire for individual success.
(C) Lum writes poetry that not only rejects features of the older literary tradition in which he participates but also rejects the popular literary traditions of Hawaiian writers.
(D) The poetry of Lum illustrates the extent to which Asian American writers living in Hawaii have a different cultural perspective than those living in the continental U.S.
(E) Lum’s poetry is an unsuccessful attempt to manage the psychological burdens of reconciling a sense of tradition with a healthy sense of individual identity.



2. Given the information in the passage, which one of the following is Lum most likely to believe?

(A) Images in a poem should be explained in that poem so that their meaning will be widely understood.
(B) The experience of living away from one’s homeland is necessary for developing a healthy perspective on one’s cultural traditions.
(C) It is important to reconcile the values of individual achievement and enterprise with the desire to retain one’s cultural traditions.
(D) One’s identity is continually in transition and poetry is a way of developing a static identity.
(E) One cannot both seek a new identity and remain connected to one’s cultural traditions.



3. The author of the passage uses the phrase “the flux within Hawaiian society” primarily in order to

(A) describe the social tension created by the mix of attitudes exhibited by citizens of Hawaii
(B) deny that Hawaiian society is culturally distinct from that of the continental U.S.
(C) identify the process by which immigrants learn to adapt to their new communities
(D) refer to the constant change to which the culture in Hawaii is subject due to its diverse population
(E) emphasize the changing attitudes of many immigrants to Hawaii toward their traditional cultural norms



4. According to the passage,some Asian American literature from Hawaii has been characterized as which one of the following?

(A) inimical to the process of developing a local sensibility
(B) centered on the individual’s drive to succeed
(C) concerned with conflicts between different age groups
(D) focused primarily on retaining ties to one’s homeland
(E) tied to a search for a new sense of family in a new land



5. The author of the passage describes Expounding the Doubtful Points as “striking” primarily in order to

(A) underscore the forceful and contentious tone of the work
(B) indicate that the work has not been properly analyzed by literary critics
(C) stress the radical difference between this work and Lum’s earlier work
(D) emphasize the differences between this work and that of other Asian American poets from Hawaii
(E) highlight the innovative nature of Lum’s experiments with poetic form



6. With which one of the following statements regarding Lum’s poetry would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?

(A) It cannot be used to support any specific political ideology.
(B) It is an elegant demonstration of the poet’s appreciation of the stylistic contributions of his literary forebears.
(C) It is most fruitfully understood as a meditation on the choice between new and old that confronts any human being in any culture.
(D) It conveys thoughtful assessments of both his ancestral homeland tradition and the culture in which he is attempting to build a new identity.
(E) It conveys Lum’s antipathy toward tradition by juxtaposing traditional and nontraditional images



Originally posted by aurobindomahanty on 29 Apr 2017, 05:44.
Last edited by gmat1393 on 05 Oct 2018, 21:09, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 01:41
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 10:44
Hi,

Can anyone please help me out to reject option D for the question no. 4?
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 13:50
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srravii wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone please help me out to reject option D for the question no. 4?


As I see it, per the part of the passage below the answer to Q4 could either have been related to conflicts between different age groups or to the cultural diversity in Hawaii.

Therefore, D is out because it refers to neither.

"Asian American poetry from Hawaii, is...,characterizable in one of two ways:...portraying a model multicultural paradise,or as exemplifying...themes such as generational conflict."

Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 14:52
srravii wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone please help me out to reject option D for the question no. 4?


Multicultural paradise or generational conflict in no way refers to "focused primarily on retaining ties to one’s homeland".
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 20:02
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srravii wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone please help me out to reject option D for the question no. 4?


Hi srravii,
The question stem is
Quote:
According to the passage,some Asian American literature from Hawaii has been characterized as which one of the following?


In the passage, refer to the following lines:
Quote:
Asian American poetry from Hawaii,the Pacific island state of the United States,is generally characterizable in one of two ways: either as portraying a model multicultural paradise,or as exemplifying familiar Asian American literary themes such as generational conflict.


So basically the two ways Asian American literature from Hawaii has been characterized is either portraying multicultural paradise,( none of the options have this stated), or portraying themes such as generational conflict.
Looking at option C
Quote:
(C) concerned with conflicts between different age groups
, This fits the characteristic.
Hence C is the correct option.
Hope its clear :grin:
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 20:23
Hi Sreyoshi007

Thank You, for the explanation. I got the reasoning. :)
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Re: Asian American poetry from Hawaii &nbs [#permalink] 30 Sep 2018, 20:23
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