Unit 2, Short Story Blast: Essential Question

To what extent are stories also the human story, my story?

Upon pondering this question, I was reminded of the saying “it’s a small world.” Often living with international circumstances forces you to experience this every day and have similar positive experiences. We have so many characteristics that are common no matter race, gender, religion, and socioeconomic status purely because of the experiences we’ve had. When I was reading Sonny’s Blues I felt connected to the main character Sonny. Throughout the story, Sonny struggles with his life in Harlem as he wants to move away to create music, however, he ends up confined to prison. Sonny experiences an internal struggle with breaking away from the societal norms of an African-American man. Although we deal with different societal norms, I often feel the pressure that society has to be one archetype of a woman. Even though feminism is aiding in changing these archetypes, I still feel the burden of having to act or look a certain type of way. In Asia, in particular, the “look” is to be skinny and “acting” is to be polite and quiet. It’s hard to conform when you don’t match the look as well as your personality seems to overexceed expectations. Here, I have struggled with identity and the societal norms of my environment. Although Sonny and I have different backgrounds, our stories are similar in fighting internal battles. Everyone is interconnected no matter their race, gender, religion and socioeconomic status.

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