Funny in Farsi** by Firoozeh Dumas Critique
As I began reading the story, I tend to write down the characters that are introduced in the front cover so I know who is who. After a while whole pages were covered in names that were far too numerous and unique to remember or keep track of. Obviously, it was further evidence of the vast size and love for her family. All the stories deal with either her father or other relatives and Iranian culture, and there is no stronger sense than that of kinship and proud heritage that radiates from the stories. The evolved web of enormous strength that is family is a primary theme of the memoir. It is not only about her, but her father, her husband, her siblings, her uncles and aunts and cousins demonstrating that she continues that close connection with family and heritage that her father so notoriously shares – without her colorful family and background she has no stories nor identity as they are such a large part of who she, or anybody, is and how they came to be. While I was born in the US, I have family that immigrated from Cuba and undoubtedly many of the details whether it being language barriers, financial stresses, status, physical appearance, discrimination, balancing cultural roots within a new American society, etc. are shared by immigrants regardless of where they travel from. My mother coming from Cuba at six and going through adolescence and adulthood in a new country faced all these matters that Dumas writes about. Living in an area that is much more ethnically diverse than many other parts of the country and coming from an emigrational family myself, I can readily identify with the new experiences Dumas and her family goes through within this Florida setting of integrating different cultures and races. The novel was more than just about migrant experiences. It spoke about the awkwardness of adolescence, financial status, the American Dream, sexism, racism, beauty, religious tension, stereotyping, and...
..."To deny someone and education is not just a crime but a sin, because you are denying that person the opportunity to realize who he or she is meant to be." This quote represents Firoozeh Dumas's view on learning and becoming the person that she is today. Through her hardships, struggles, good times and the bad times, she has matured and learned a great deal. In the autobiography Funny in Farsi by FiroozehDumas, the themes or clashing cultures, new environments, and learning through experience comes into play.
The story begins as Firoozeh moves with her family to the United States in 1972, as a seven-year-old. From the moment her airplane lands, she starts to see differences; not only in the geography of the land and the appearance of the people, but the look of the whole place. She is used to bustling cities in Iran, crowded with enthusiastic workers, shoppers, and people socializing. In contrast, her new neighborhood in America seemed fairly unexciting; she describes it as uniformed houses, all the lawns in perfect order, as if everything was constantly being maintained to achieve the ideal look. But little did she know that this was only the beginning of differences. Entering a new school would open a whole other orbit of biculturalism.
As she enters school, she sees everyone; completely different looking from her, and all of them fluent in English. Curious classmates peered...
Funny in Farsi Analysis
The focus of this paper is an analysis of the book Funny in Farsi by FiroozehDumas using concepts from the Lives Across Cultures textbook. Ten concepts are identified and defined from Chapter readings. Following definitions, examples from the novel of these concepts are shown.
Ethnocentrism is defined as the tendency to judge other people and cultures by the standards of one’s own culture and to believe that the behavior, customs, norms, values and other characteristics of one’s own group are natural, valid, and correct while those of other’s are unnatural, invalid and incorrect. For example, in Funny in FarsiFiroozeh experiences ethnocentrism from citizens here in America during the Iranian hostage crisis. Her and her family would sometimes hide their ethnicity and define themselves as other nationalities in order to avoid racism during the crisis.
A child’s microsystem is the layer closest to the child and contains those structures with which the child has direct contact such as their family or preschool. Firoozeh’s description of her microsystem focuses mostly on her parents with an emphasis on her engineer father.
The Exosystem of a child is the contact she has with extended family, friends of family, neighbors and mass media. Firoozeh describes a...
...Funny in Farsi
A Memior of Growing Up Iranian in America by FiroozehDumas is all about her life growing up in California after her dad is moved there but is company form Iran. Being born in Iran she had not learned much English so when she moved to the United State she slowly learned and was the translator for her mother a lot of the time. In her younger years she moved around about every two years and eventually she settled in America after her dad retired from the oil refinery in Iran. Since she was light skinned and had dark hair she could pass for an America as long as she did not speak because of her accent, this abled her in many ways.
After living in America for some time Firoozeh realizes that no one can really say her name the right way because the English language does not use the same sounds that are in the Persian language. Also by taking an America name she would no longer have to spend endless amounts of time trying to explain to people how to say her name. Since she looked like a young American girl with an American name she could pass for someone that had been born and raised there, that is until she had to open her mouth to say something. After people started to think that she was an American they started to say things that she had never known that they had been saying before, about immigrants from her country. Whilst she has changed her name some Americans that had been traveling...
...Conversely maybe God just wanted to create a human with defects or ugly looks.
“A Nose by Any Other Name” by FiroozehDumas discusses the physical appearances of people, and how we overestimate the importance of appearance. When she was at college age, she wanted to do a little plastic surgery on her nose. When Firoozeh’s father and she went to the doctor to do plastic surgery, the doctor told her that only way to fix Firoozeh’s nose was to break it. She was really bothered about the doctor’s idea; maybe she felt some fear when she heard the doctor’s idea. Then she reconsidered, and decided against plastic surgery. Firoozeh shared a story about a librarian who had a huge ugly nose like an exotic bird. That librarian was self-assured and strong, and she did not care what people were thinking about her ugly big nose, or that Firoozeh referred to her as the Toucan.
That’s how Firoozeh Dumas’s self-confidence pushed her to think deeply on other values of life. One night in a motel room, when she was flipping the channels on TV, she suddenly saw a show about a nudist colony on the screen. The Toucan was talking extensively about herself, and it seemed that she did not feel shame being naked. Apparently, people like nudists do not care what others think of their looks, even if they are on a show that reveals their saggy bodies. As we see, after the nudist’s interview, Firoozeh...
...are sacrifices immigrants must make along with newfound chances. Succumbing to
social alienation is one of the sacrifices that immigrants must make. In the memoir, Funny in Farsi, by
FiroozehDumas, and the studies of Djuro J. Vrga on Differential Associational Involvement of Successive
Ethnic Immigrations: An Indicator of Ethno-Religious Factionalism and Alienation of Immigrants, the
depths of social alienation and its influence on immigrants are reviewed. Dumas’ memoir describes the
experience of an Iranian growing up in America, whilst Vrga’s study is applied to different sociocultural
aspects of life immigrants may encounter. Cultural differences in morality, ethics, values and political
standings all play an substantial role when discussing social alienation. However, more often than so,
the Americans are the social alienators while the immigrants are the socially alienated.
Though Americans were once so to speak—immigrants, as if Americans are rotten
crops from the harvests of heritage, immigrants are the freshly picked fruits of culture and tradition, and
a batch of flawless tomatoes obviously stand out amongst the rundown veggies. FiroozehDumas
highlights the awkward feelings entailed with social alienation as a theme throughout the memoir.
Dumas recalls on several occasions how uneasy and...
...In the memoir Funny in Farsi, FiroozehDumas develops the importance of keeping me’s own culture through her use of characterization, plot and setting.
Firoozeh came to the United States from Iran when she was seven, with a father who believed America was the Promised Land, a land of infinite wisdom, compassion, and possibilities. That’s a familiar theme for me. Three of my four grandparents moved across the globe from Russia to the melting pot of America. In the early days of their immigration, there was enormous suspicion against them. Their Jewish names and manner and their foreign accents isolated them. But the melting pot blurred the differences especially among the children, and by the second or third generation, the accents were gone, the suspicion eased, and people started to relate to each other as people. The self-effacing humor of Jewish immigrants was an important tool as they struggled to become part of their new home, and helped create a sense of bonding and strength. While Firoozeh neighbors in the United States weren’t sure how to relate to her, I had no such confusion. She took me into her confidence and I saw for myself who she was, thanks to her superb command of the English language, and her clever, ironic insights. “She’s one of us.” I thought. And even better, as a recent entrant into the melting pot, she could share her observations about contrasts between two...
...In the book Funny in Farsi by FiroozehDumas, there are five concepts from our textbook, Lives Across Cultures: Cross-Cultural Human Development by Harry W. Gardiner and Corrine Kosmitzki. Three of the concepts are components of FiroozehDumas’ developmental niche such as the psychology of her caretakers, the customs of her child care, and the social settings of her daily life growing up. The other two concepts are individualism and ethnocentrism.
Dumas’ developmental niche is apparent throughout her memoir. The psychology of her caretakers, her parents, is shown in one light when Dumas tells about her summer camp experience. Her father was cheap yet generous at the same time. He came from a hard childhood, having his parents pass away at an early age so he instilled hard work and the value of money in his children. He felt that spending $500 for two weeks at camp was expensive but it must have meant the camp was beyond exceptional. On the other hand, when he took her shopping for supplies, the clearance isle was his target for the bare necessities, nothing frivolous allowed. Throughout her life she took note and spoke on his penny-pinching schemes, but also on his charities and generosities to those less fortunate than him.
Another component of her developmental niche that was depicted in the memoir was that of culturally regulated customs of child rearing....
...There are pictures about the existence of which you know from the very childhood.
Those are masterpieces of the last century which have been still living nowadays. One of such chefs-d'oeuvre is the musical Funny Face.
The play Funny Attractive Face had been already staged in 1927 on Broadway. The title, the main song and four items of the program were taken from that play for movie known as Funny Face nowadays. The plot of the musical was mostly changed to Wedding Day (1951).
Wedding Day was the Broadway musical play by Leonard Gershe, loosely based on affairs in his friend Avedon's life. Roger Edens, the producer of Metro Goldwyn Mayer bought the play for their studio with Astaire and Hepburn in mind. With uncommon generosity, Arthur Freed, the musical producer allowed Edens to take Funny Face to Paramount. In 1957, the world, at last saw that marvelous movie. The motion picture was written by Leonard Gershe, produced by Roger Edens and directed by Stanley Donen. Richard Avedon inspired Gershe's story with his innovative photographs of haute couture and was, thus, hired as "special visual consultant" for Funny Face. The movie stars Audrey Hepburn (Jo Stockton), Fred Astaire (Dick Avery), Kay Thompson (Maggie Prescott), Robert Flamyng Paul Duval) and Michel Auclair (Prof.Floster). The genre of it can be defined as musical, romance and comedy. The picture admires us with the most beautiful places of...