Read and analyze “Amir” by Paul Fleischmans
Amir by Paul Fleischman
In Seedfolks, Paul Fleischman presents short stories narrated by different people as the book follows a community garden in Cleveland. One of these narrators is Amir, who has experience living both in India and the United States (US). In his narration, Amir mainly compares experiences between the two nations, especially in how people live and treat one another. Specifically, Amir spends his childhood in Delhi and then moves to the US; thus, he can make comparisons between the two nations (Fleischman 74). Overall, the narrator suggests that while in India, people are more friendly to one another and know their neighbors, in Cleveland, people live like strangers in isolation, mainly fueled by the prejudice that people have against one another. The narrator highlights that these stereotypes about people and their races do not represent what individuals are, especially when people take the time to get to know one another as different people do at the community garden.
Amir’s narration represents how different nations and areas differ in how people live. Specifically, in this case, India differs from the US in that the former mainly consists of people from one race, while the latter brings people from different races to live together. As Amir highlights, this multiracialism in the US has fueled stereotypes people have before interacting with others. Individuals are judged based on their race and what is publicly known about that race. This issue leads to people in India being friendly and knowing their neighbors as they are all Indians, while in the US, people live in isolation as they perceive others as foes because they are from a different race (Fleischman 73). However, when people get to know one another, they realize that the stereotypes are untrue and a huge barrier to getting to know their neighbors. For example, before knowing him, an Italian woman refers to Amir as a dirty foreigner, but when they become acquaintances and see the goodness in each other, she apologizes profusely and says she did so because she did not know him (Fleischman 81). Overall, in this book, Amir represents how stereotypes limit people’s interactions in the US.