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Two Ways To Belong In America Essay Summary Writing

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“Two Ways to Belong to America”



“In one family, from two sisters alike as peas in a pod, there could not be a wider divergence of immigrant experience” (45).

Body Paragraphs, the points made:

1.     Growing up similar, with a similar childhood and other background (paragraph 1)

a.     The reasons for their travel to the U.S. (paragraph 2)

b.     Their choices of husbands (paragraphs 3-5)

c.      the reason for writing this piece: the recent debate on immigration statuses

2.     Relationship between the sisters even though different (paragraph 6)

a.     Being close

b.     Being affectionate to each other, despite differences

c.      Having polite arguments

d.     Pitying each other for choices made

3.     Why the concern now? (Paragraph 8)

a.     Mira’s feelings about the recent changes in immigration laws

b.     Her statements on what America should differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants

4.     Bharati’s analysis of her sister’s feelings: (Paragraph 9-10)

a.     She feels that Mira endures “a loveless marriage” with the country of her choice

b.     How far does Mira’s “Americanization” go

c.      Mira’s admission that if America “want to play the manipulative game,” she will change her citizenship but go back to her Indian citizenship when she is ready to return to India (45)

5.     Bharati’s own admissions: her love for the country she chose to live in ( Paragraph 11)

a.     She is willing to be demoted in her “caste status” by moving from aristocracy to an “immigrant nobody” (45)

b.     She is willing to surrender “those thousand years of ‘pure culture,’ the saris, the delightfully accented English” (45)

6.     Analysis of Mira’s concerns: (Paragraph 12)

a.     Mira could be giving voice to the millions of people in the “immigrant community” who have been “

b.     Mira’s abilities might be different from theirs, but she is still part of that community

7.     Bharati’s own experience in Canada, when she too was mistreated (comparison between the American move and the Canadian government’s change in policies) (Paragraph 13 and 14)

a.     Explains what happened in Canada

b.     she “felt the same sense of betrayal that Mira feels now” (46)

c.      That is what drove her and others like her from Canada to the U.S.


1.     Mira and Bharati still are different in their ways of interacting with the country they have chosen to live in

2.     Mira lives here like an “expatriate Indian”; Bharati lives here as “a part of the community” (46)

3.     Last line (important. and something she leaves the readers to think about): “The price that the immigrant willingly pays, and that exile avoids, is the trauma of self-transformation” (46).