The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Shared Qualities of Opposing Sides of a Border: How Cultural Relations can Merge Characteristics between Different Groups College

Cultural and geographical borders within any society are believed to create boundaries that limit similarities between those on opposite sides. Contrary to the belief that the qualities of one side do not merge with those of the other, however, it can be seen that certain characteristics can become shared by different groups of people. Through cultural relations, certain qualities can come to represent two or more groups that no one would believe to have anything in common with each other. In the books The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman and The Unredeemed Captive by John Demos and John Sayles’ 1996 film Lone Star, certain qualities are combined among different groups, showing that even the most dissimilar people in the world can have certain things in common. In the works above, similarities are observed between Hmong parents and American doctors, Iroquois Indians and Protestants, and Americans and Mexicans, showing how the groups are really not so different from one another after all.

Defending and maintaining one’s cultural traditions is extremely grueling when living in a different country, as seen in Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. The Hmong people living in the United States...

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