The One-Dimensional Portrayal of the Immigrant Mother in Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies)
Justina Chen Headley explores in her book Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) the search for her protagonist’s identity, Patty Ho, which is a part Taiwanese, part American girl. Headley displays the mother as a one-dimensional parent who is holding onto conservative and traditional Taiwanese values, and is imposing her cultural values onto her daughter as a justification for her strict parenting style.
Headley chooses to let Patty Ho speak in a first-person perspective. Yokota states that “an inside perspective is the portrayal of a cultural group by one who is a member of the group and is more likely to give to give an authentic view of what members of the cultural group believe to be true about themselves” (Yokata 158). Patty is part Asian and her non-present father is American. Patty’s mother is reminded daily by her daughter’s American looks and height that her daughter is not fully Asian and she compensates this with being overly restrictive towards Patty. The…
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