To Be An American

Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet depicts a Taiwanese man crossing cultural boundaries.He is caught between his parent's traditional belief system and his own experience as an Asian-American man.The movie shows the struggle Wai-Tung undergoes to deal with his life as an assimilated man and the life that his parents in Taiwan have planned for him.This is a situation that many people who come to America have to deal with when trying to fit in.They try hard to retain some of their old cultural values and practices while also trying not to alienate themselves from the new world that they live in.The film illustrates that in order to become fully a part of American culture, one cannot retain all of his or her cultural values and practices.Immigrants must adopt the ways of the new world that they live in.This is true, but by giving up their cultural values to become part of American culture, immigrants realize that the cost to family life and to self outweigh the benefits of assimilation.
In the movie, an example of Wai-Tung's assimilation into American culture is that he is in an intimate, interracial relationship.This is the equivalent of intermarriage in heterosexual relationships, which is a key indication of assimilation (e.g., Hwang and Saenz 1).Taiwan is a virtually homogenous
country where inter-marriage is virtually impossible because not many other races reside in the country.The fact that he has chosen a white American man to be his lover is and sign that he has accepted American culture and strives to intermix with the culture.
More explicit than his choosing a white lover is that he has a male lover at all.As stated in the movie, Wai-Tung had intimate relationships while he was in college.To seem normal and to fit in with his own culture while he was in Taiwan, Wai-Tung had to pretend that he was heterosexual.Asian parents usually raise their children to abide by social norms, wh…


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