Unit 2 – Essential Question

Are stories “all one story” or rewarmed versions of one another?

I don’t think that stories are all essentially one story. I believe that all stories are unique because they are written by unique individuals, people who have their own experiences and emotions and thoughts about the world. In that sense, I don’t think that stories are all one story. However, at the same time, stories are all one story in that they are all one story about the human experience. Every story, with the emotions that it conveys or the ideas that are shown, contains some components of the human experience. All stories have some things that people can relate to or understand. There are aspects that everybody understands and are common themes in stories, such as weather or seasons or friendships or night and day. I don’t think that these are “rewarmed version” of these aspects of the human story, but rather they are new insights or different perspectives of these things. Take, for example, our recent DragonNotes projects. All the short stories that our projects were based on had something to do with the immigrant experience or dealing with cultural differences within families. Despite them having this common theme, they all were different in that they had their own unique characters, perspective, and style of writing. The authors may have had similar messages, but the way in which they were portrayed and the experiences they used to portray them were all different. Through their differing stories, they may have contributed new insights or viewpoints to what life is like as an immigrant. On an even smaller level would be within those stories. My DragonNotes story, ‘Who’s Irish?’, tells the story of a Chinese woman who feels a disconnect with her American-raised daughter. While the piece tells the main story of them feeling a clash between cultures, there are multiple perspectives or sides within that story. The grandmother has a more strict, Asian, collectivist approach to life and parenting. On the other hand, her daughter believes more in freedom, self-esteem, and individualism. While they both may be experiencing the same issue – which is a difficulty understanding each other – they have different sides to the story because they experience different things and thus think in different ways. As such, they bring new insights and different point of views to the story of immigrant families in America.