Asian American Literature and Culture

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Literary works are a typical approach for authors to convey important ideas about society and lifestyle in a specific location. While this is the primary purpose, the implication of the words may need to shift throughout the reading so that the audience is fed a different version of the message that may be contrary to the one that was initially created. In other words, it is typical for the use of a key word to be reinterpreted based on the events that are going place and would no longer be perceived in the sense that was formed initially. One particular piece of literature that exemplifies this feature is the poem Fairways by John Song where the reader experiences a redefinition of the word “love” over the course of the interaction between the father and her daughter (Song 58). While the father appears to be loving and caring when the audience first meets him, the perception changes immediately the ball gets lost and thus warrants the significance of literary works, making inferences into the implication of the redefinition in the context of the Asian American culture.

The audience gets the sense of love from reading the poem in the perspective of the son who is the witness to the scenes where the love of the father to his daughter ends up going overboard. The father is presented as a happy folk who is proud of his children and was fond of playing with them, typical of a Korean father’s love. For instance, it is stated that “Yesterday, on the wide fairways of the public golf course, my old man, proud to be with his grown son and pleased in his snappy new hat and spectator golf shoes, sliced the ball hard off the first tee” (Song 6-11). It is implied that the father was fond of building constructive relationships with his children because the son was contemplating how the father was displaying the same version of support that his sister had been given and was proud of them both. Various other effects that help in the understanding of the theme of love in a positive manner based on the way the poet builds on the relationship that the father had for her daughter, and it is unlikely that there would a turn of events later in the poem. It is particularly interesting to cite the section of the literary work where the reader gets a clue into the potential of rage taking over and destroying the initial trust and bond of love that had been established in the family. In fact, it is stated that while the daughter had a positive association with her father, she was cautious because she was aware that there was a likelihood that the stubborn conviction and authority that was typical of the father was a primary cause of the creation of a rift later. The turn of events later is a proof of the relevance of the worry and caution that the daughter for her father’s behavior.

Over the course of the poem, the audience is met with a redefinition of the concept of love, and it appears that the father’s animosity and authority take over and destroy the relationship that had been established. Still, the reader gets the message in the perspective of the son who is consulted several times regarding his perception of the behavior that the father was displaying. The protectiveness that had been manifested in the initial stages of the poem are no longer the feeling over the course of the poem as the father allowed his animosity and anger to take control of the show. Instead of understanding love to be a mutual bond between loved ones, a definition occurs immediately the reader understands the hidden character that the man possesses. The author relates, “My father almost hit her then, stopped himself barely; he shook in silence as his daughter stood facing him, his cord-thick neck veins furious, his bad eyes big with anger” (Song 31-35). It is noted that the father’s rage almost masks all the passion that he had demonstrated as the relation grows sour. In fact, the fairways that is referred to in the poem has a different meaning and it suggests life while the lost ball is used as a symbol to mean the daughter. It is equally significant to highlight the section where the son is sought to offer his support in the now stale connection between the father and the daughter. He states, “And now, my father trudges down the fairway, still angry with himself, and searching for the lost ball. It’s gone further than he thinks, his fifty-two-year-old eyes can’t find it. He turns, facing me, and asks if I have seen it” (Song 51-56). The implication that the reader gets is that of an association that had gotten destroyed and a situation where the understanding of the concept of love is understood differently. Of particular interest, however, is the apprehension that the misunderstanding can be used to relate the particular culture within which the poem is set so that the shift in the understanding of familial love is typical of certain traditions.

The implications that are made from the passage involve the understanding of the concept of love and family bonding in the Korean culture as it is apparent that there is a shift in the way one would perceive it. It is typical of the Korean culture and traditions to be overprotective of their families and other loved ones and the setting where the relationship is built along these lines. It is thus apparent that the parents were fond of ensuring that the children got a positive influence from the parents. It is, however, noted that the aspect of environment forms the focal point in the assessment of the cause of the rift between the father and her daughter. The man runs a liquor store, and the relationship between the two is complicated by the poor neighborhood where the hail. Another critical factor that is implied is that the significance of the redefinition to the audience is that they are able to conceptualize the relevance of the concept of culture difference. The father is a member of the first generation while his daughter is of the second generation and it is unlikely that the two would get along fine in the course of their interaction. Therefore, it is imperative that in the Korean culture, as in many traditions, there are distinct limits to which parents can associate with their children.

Work Cited

Song, John. Fairways. Tea Leaves Production, 1991. Print.

May 24, 2023


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