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Culture Clash Essay

997 words - 4 pages

Cultural Clash
Takami Kowalski
Cultural clash is the major conflict of many novels. Asher Lev is a Hasidic Jew living in Brooklyn, New York. He wants to become an artist, but his Hasidic culture limits his possibilities. Oliver Twist is a very poor orphan about nine years old living in different parts of England, though mostly London. He is very pure and kind in heart, but fate keeps bringing him into the hands of thieves who use Oliver for crimes and such. Thomas Black Bull is a Native American (who also becomes an orphan) that gets forced into the American culture. He tries to fit in by becoming a bronc rider, but eventually gets back into his old Native American culture. ...view middle of the document...

Oliver is an orphan, so he faces all of his pains by himself. Since he is poor, he is immediately thought of as a criminal according to the class system in England. He is lucky once and he is taken in by Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin, who are kind, loving, caring, and they actually worked for their food and belongings, unlike the thieves that take Oliver. He is rescued again from the thieves by the Maylies, a kind family that takes Oliver in as if he were their son.
Thomas Black Bull clashes many times with his Native American culture that he was born into, and with the White/ Caucasian culture of the United States. He was forced into the White culture when he was pretty young. Both his parents were dead by this time. He is pushed around in the white culture and he eventually becomes a bronc rider, and this is his peak of being in the white culture. After his bronc riding years, he sees a bear which he brings him back to his Native American culture. Tom gets pushed around a lot, and he seems to give in to pressure, whether from himself or from the world.
Tom and Asher both struggle between actual established cultures. Tom is pushed around and switches between his Native American culture and the common culture of America. Oliver Twist has more of a moral/societal clash between rich and poor, good and bad. Throughout the book, the author either notes or shows through Oliver how pure his spirit is, and that he would rather die than commit such crimes as those that Fagin and Bill Sikes make him do.
Tom and Oliver both go back and forth between their two cultures, whereas Asher Lev moves in a general direction towards one side (artist), occasionally going towards the other (Hasidic). Tom Black Bull starts at one...

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