Nonfiction Reaction Paper
Nonfiction Reaction Paper
The nonfiction stories I have decided to write about are; “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” by Andrew Lam and “Salvation” by Langston Hughes. Both of these stories are about a significant event in the authors lives in which they choose to write about. “Salvation” is a story about the author trying to find his way into the church and finally see the light or Jesus so his soul will be saved and his sins forgiven. ; “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” was a writing about his mother having a hard time with the American culture and how her son, the author Andrew Lam, will be when he leaves home and ...view middle of the document...
352) and nothing happened to him when he lied just to be ‘saved’ because he was tired of waiting to be saved by seeing the light.
In Andrew Lam’s “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” the author is trying to get the reader to understand that tradition should not die but along with life things such as tradition will change as life does. In the story his mother is 70 years old now and is afraid many of her traditions and faith will not be carried along by her family. Many things from our ancestors are no longer being practiced today as they were back then, hence life changes as well as people and traditions. “I share her fear that her generation and its memories of the Old World, what preserves us as a community, will fade away like incense smoke” (Lam 2003, p 1078). The story entails a family coming from Vietnamese heritage trying to practice certain cultures in America. The author, the son in this story, is growing up in America and his mother does not want her son speak more Vietnamese while at home when he was a teenager “No,” I answered in English, “what good is it to speak it? It’s not as if I am going to use it after I move out.” (Lam 2003, p 1078) The authors’ strategy here is just showing the reader that the narrator of the story, also the author, is caught up with growing up in America and bonding with the cultures he will be continuing with through in his life in America even though he was born in a different country.
I can personally relate to the theme of “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” and “Salvation” from my childhood. Both stories take me back to my grandmother when I was growing up as a catholic. My grandmother was solid catholic women active in the church and she was stern on the catholic upbringing and would not pressure for church attendance but would ‘highly’ recommend it weekly. The story salvation to me was more like going through reconciliation or confirmation, two of the seven sacraments. In the story “Salvation”, when the young boy was trying to understand Jesus and his own faith to me was like a kid not getting what he wanted for Christmas and he or she might question if Santa Claus was in fact real or not. This relates to the part where Langston debating on what to do because his friend just lied to be saved and Jesus still has not saved him and he is getting hounded by his aunt while pondering. “Langston, why don’t you come? Why don’t you come and be saved? Oh, Lamb of God! Why don’t you come?”(Langston 1940 p.352). I have never really ‘seen the light’ as one would say, but I have had experiences with the lord that I do not share, but at a young age of 12 I would have had all the uncertainties that Langston did when he was that age. I went to a catholic grade school for eight years and I had a difficult time grasping certain things with the church and it was only because of age. Langston did nothing wrong and I am sure as he got older he realized the significance...