Everyone Talked Loudly In Chinatown Essay

This is another article that once was an assignment for school. This particular article came from my grade 12 English class, where I had to read this short story, Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown, and do a response essay on a chosen few aspects of this story. I chose the conflicts in the story and of course I got a pretty good mark for my work. For those who are reading this essay in order to respond a schoolwork question (since this short story is part of some curricula), feel free to integrate my ideas into your response, but don’t copy this essay word for word without giving credit, since that would be plagiarism. It doesn’t do me any harm for you to copy it, but you might get an zero or other punishments if your teacher catches you. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.


The conflicts in the short story Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown has to do with the main character’s immersion from the culture of her birth into the dominant culture of where she lives right now. The conflicts are created when Lin becomes more like the other kids in Vancouver and starts to distance herself from traditional Chinese culture. There are several reasons that caused Lin to separate from her culture. Firstly, her parents didn’t do much to keep Lin within the culture. The fact that Lin is living in a western society also contributes, and so does her physical and mental growing process. There are two distinct conflicts in this short story. They are different in their characteristics but both of them are caused by Lin’s progression into western culture.

The first conflict introduced is that Lin has a white boyfriend and she doesn’t want her parents to know, because she knows that her parents will react badly to this news (as we will find out later in the story). Lin tries to keep her boyfriend out of the sight of her parents, as the following quote states, “Today Todd walks me to the beginning of my block as usual and then crosses the street to go on. My mother would start to ask questions if she saw as together.” This conflict is caused by her progression away from traditional Chinese culture, because according to tradition, Chinese people have Chinese boyfriends or girlfriends. This conflict can be classified as a person vs. person, as Lin’s action are in conflict of her parents’ beliefs, but this conflict can also be classified as a person vs. society conflict, because really Lin is in conflict with the traditional Chinese culture, which of course stemmed from society.

The second conflict is that Lin feels guilty for not being close to her grandmother who is dying of sickness. Lin remembers how when she was little, her grandma will bring her to Chinatown for treats and other things, but she stopped going to Chinatown with her grandmother and “started to play with friends who weren’t loud and who weren’t Chinese.” Again, it’s Lin’s progression away from her own birth culture that causes herself to distance herself from her grandma, and she feels “disgusted and guilty” for having not been with her and having to feed her like a baby. This conflict is more of an internal conflict with Lin herself, even though it is caused in part by her separation from the Chinese culture.

None of the conflicts in the story really got resolved by the end. Lin’s parents are still going to complain about her white boyfriend and the fact that her grandmother died doesn’t necessarily make Lin feel less guilty about distancing herself from grandma. I suppose this story is only a small window into the life of the main character, so the time that supposedly occurred in the story might not have been enough to resolve these conflicts.

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Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown”
Forfatter: Anne Jew
Udgivet i: “Pens of Many Colours: A Canadian Reader”
Udgivelsesår: 1997
Genre: Novelle

Anne Jew er en Canadisk forfatter med kinesiske aner. 


The title of the short story - “Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown” – already hints at its themes and plot. It suggests that some of the action takes place in Chinatown, which is a Chinese neighborhood in some countries and it also hints at the idea of cultural differences by mentioning the way people talk in such neighborhoods. After reading the story, we realize the title is related to the first-person narrator’s experiences in a Chinatown in Canada, when she was only a child and her grandmother used to take her there: “My grandmother was very popular in Chinatown. While we shopped we would be stopped every few feet by her acquaintances. Everyone talked loudly and waved their arms. I couldn't understand why they had to be so loud.”

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