Haiku: A Dance in Solitude --- The Separateness of Asian Americans in Hisaye Yamamoto’s “Seventeen Syllables”

Shenli Song

Abstract


The short story “Seventeen Syllables” written by Japanese American woman writer, Hisaye Yamamoto embroiders on the style of intergenerational communication among Issei and Nisei, which is complicated by cultural differences. Focused on the experience of Tome, the Issei mother, a gentle and intelligent Asian American woman, who is consumed by an urgent need to create and express herself, being submerged and destroyed by a male dominant society with a stoic, pioneering moral system and a suffocating culture, this paper intends to explore the inner development and separation of the Issei mother, the limitation of the Nisei daughter and the conflicts and confinements between the two generations, and then go further to find out their social, historical and psychological origins laying behind the texts.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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