Dreams of Two

DIRECTIONS: Choose ONE of the following questions and construct an essay of no less than five full pages and no more than seven pages. Make sure to read the question carefully and respond to all aspects of the question. In your paper, please write your full name on the top right-hand corner of the page and either AAS 283 or Hist 283, depending on your enrollment. Include a descriptive title on the following line, centered on the page. Make sure to provide page numbers. Please do not include a title page, works cited page, footnotes, or bibliography. A simple citation for a quote is enough, for example (Pai, 77) or (Vera Cruz, 158).


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You will be graded on the basis of well you follow the directions on form above, on the basis of how well you state and defend your argument, your intelligent use of evidence from both texts by Pai and Vera Cruz and demonstrate knowledge of the historical context. In your essay, make sure that you have an introductory paragraph, a clear thesis, logical topic sentences, and a strong concluding paragraph. As a guideline, you should avoid using quotations of longer than two sentences, unless it is absolutely necessary for your argument. Remember that it is your voice that I want to hear.



1. Using the experiences narrated in Dreams of Two Yi-min and Philip Vera Cruz, construct an argument as to how the legacies of empires (Japanese, American) might have shaped the lives of Korean and Filipino migrants to the United States (Hawai‘i and the mainland) in the twentieth century. The legacies of empire might include systems of economic exploitation, racial segregation or discrimination, and deprivation of immigration or citizenship rights.


2. Mr. Kwon, Margaret Pai’s father, and Philip Vera Cruz are both immigrants with interesting social class backgrounds, which changed during their lifetimes. Compare and contrast their social class backgrounds and then answer how their social class contributed to or hindered their aspirations in life. In your response, pay attention to their family’s social origins in the homeland, their social aspirations (for example, their dreams of upward mobility), the kinds of jobs they had in the United States and its territories, their income, and the locations and types of homes in which they lived.


3. Construct an argument as to how each book – Dreams of Two Yi-min and Philip Vera Cruz – addresses gender relations? In your response, consider the following dimensions of gender: the question of equality between men and women; the challenges of marriage; interracial sex, companionship, or marriage. Finally, discuss how the views of Asian subjects on gender relations changed or became modified over time?


4. Compare and contrast inter-ethnic relations in the two books. Evaluate the attitudes of Pai and Vera Cruz towards relationships with other ethnic, racial, or immigrant groups. How did their views of inter-ethnic relations harmonize or clash with those of others (family members, co-workers, friends, etc.)? How did their views of inter-ethnic relations change or become modified over time?

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