The Old Man Isn't Here Anymore

Topics: Burial, Family, China Pages: 2 (696 words) Published: April 13, 2014
Analyzing the Reading of :
The Old Man Isn’t There Anymore
By Kellie Schmitt

1. Schmitt’s purpose in writing this travel narrative, is to show the differences between the Chinese and American cultures, when it comes to many different things. Main examples in this narrative are; living under the same roof, loss of a loved one, and funeral etiquette. In the Chinese culture it is excepted to come into common areas in your under clothing. Where in America, this would not be appropriate at all. In most places in America, law enforcement would be called on some one outside of their living area in nothing but their underwear and shoes. The narrative shows the many differences in funeral etiquette. One such being, white floors being the preferred color for the loss of a loved one. The family is still very grateful for the gesture, and wants the author to attend the funeral service. Second, wearing of the black swatch of cloth on your sleeve, to identify you as a member of the funeral party. Third, walking in a precession with the casket to the crematorium, and then having to pay extra, so that the loved one is cremated alone. Final, taking the black swatch off of the sleeve and placing it into an outside fireplace, then taking a leaping step forward to help the loved one “ transcend the gap between life and death“.

2. The author used a fictitious paragraph, to tell us how she thought it would be to live in common housing in China. She talks of how she would, “ I’d wander into their kitchens in the late afternoon and sit around sipping green tea and chatting in Chinese about their lives.” The author uses this to show, the reader what her ideal situation would be, living with people of a different culture under the same rough. This scenario is not what happened, the other occupants of the home would barely acknowledge the writer, let alone speak to her. This was useful in showing the reader what she wanted her living experience to be. The other ways the writer...
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