“Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown” Short Story Response

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.

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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.

6 thoughts to ““Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown” Short Story Response”

  1. i have a couple questions related to this article for school and wanted to know if anyone can answer them for me

    1. study the relationship between tod and the narrator what attracts them to each other ? does the narrator and tod have many things in common ? write a paragraph explaning and developing your thoughts about this couple

    2. the narrator’s culture and lifestyle are probably significantly different from tod’s a) why might this statement be true?
    b)identify two specific details from the story that are a part of the narrator’s cultural background and lifestyle

  2. It’s been six years since I’ve read the short story, so I don’t really remember. It was either mentioned in the story or in the introduction for the story.

  3. I read this short story just now. I did asked for a response for Eng12 class. Did you used to be a Maple Leafer? If I have botherd you, I’m sorry about that…

  4. Maple Leafer? If you are wondering if I’m Canadian, then yes. If you are wondering if I’m a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, then not really.

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