When studying non-fiction, it is crucial to critically evaluate the writer’s intentions by applying formalist and historical criticism to identify relevant elements. Moreover, authors use diverse strategies to effectively convey their thesis or themes. In this analysis, I have selected Andrew Lam’s “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” and Joan Didion’s “On Going Home” as illustrations of non-fiction works. I will explore the themes in these works and examine how Lam and Didion communicate them, along with considering the purpose and intended audience behind their writing. Additionally, I will discuss why these works are classified as non-fiction and examine the role of imagination within these chosen stories.
The theme of Andrew Lam’s short story is “tradition,” as depicted when his mother inquires about who will light the incense. Lam, hailing from Vietnam, reminisces about lighting incense back home, but upon fleeing to America, he no longer remembers whom he should address his prayers to or for what purpose. He laments, “Having fled so far from Vietnam, I no longer know to whom I should address my prayers or what promises I could possibly make to the long departed” (p. 1115). His mother faithfully upholds this tradition since migrating to the Americas, but it risks fading away once she passes away. Nevertheless, Lam realizes that he and his mother inhabit separate worlds—she still believes in praying to their ancestors each morning, while he is preoccupied with living an American lifestyle.
Lam conveys the theme of his childhood memories with his mother in America. His mother displayed her children’s achievements proudly, alongside her religious practice of lighting incense on the ancestral altar. The author believes that the main message of this story is the sense of disappointment he feels knowing that no one will continue lighting the incense after his mother is gone. This feeling is relatable to any immigrant child. While his mother hopes one of her children will continue the ancestral tradition, Lam feels that participating in this practice is more about pleasing his traditional mother than embracing a living tradition. He expresses that he doesn’t fully belong to this Vietnamese tradition as he has assimilated to American ways.
The text presents a true narrative of the author’s personal experience and emotions of a particular day in his life. It commences with the author mentioning his mother’s recent seventieth birthday and emphasizes her lively disposition. Moving forward, the author delves into a detailed description of an interesting conversation between his mother and aunt. During this exchange, his mother poses a question about who will perform the task of lighting incense after her passing. In response, the aunt expresses uncertainty, stating that neither her children nor the grandchildren would fulfill that duty. This section can be found on page 1115.
When reading this story, it is important to use your imagination and empathize with the narrator’s position. Understanding their experiences can be challenging if you are not an immigrant’s child. The protagonist, Lam, feels disappointed in himself because he is capable of lighting the incense but hasn’t practiced it for a long time, making him feel hesitant about doing so. If you put yourself in the shoes of an immigrant child who no longer follows traditions from your homeland, participating in those customs would also make you uncomfortable. “I wish I could promise my mother that I will continue to light incense every morning for her and our ancestors after she passes away, but unfortunately I cannot” (p.1116).
Joan Didion’s “On Going Home” centers on the theme of “home.” The narrator, returning home to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday, is overwhelmed by emotions: “And yet, an indescribable anxiety colored the emotional connection between me and the place I originated from” (p. 636). Didion discusses how younger generations perceive home differently now. She shares her own feelings about being back home and hopes her daughter will have a similar experience. However, she acknowledges that she cannot guarantee her daughter the same sense of “home” due to their changed lives: “…I would like to bestow home upon her for her birthday, but our life has taken a different course now, and I cannot make such a promise” (p. 637).
The intention of Didion’s writing is to express the sensation of returning to one’s hometown. Despite having reached her thirties, being married, having a child, and owning a home, Didion experiences unexpected emotions when she visits the place she grew up. “…and yet I was almost thirty years old before I could talk to my family on the telephone without crying after I had hung up.” (p.636) When Didion left home, there was an underlying belief that you could never truly return. The purpose of this narrative may be to examine if others still share the same sentiment about going back home as she does. This story could resonate with anyone who has left their hometown and yearned to return, as well as those who hold strong familial connections.
In this account, Didion recalls her return to her parents’ house to commemorate her daughter’s first birthday. Throughout her stay, discussions within her family revolve around individuals who have been institutionalized for mental health reasons and those who have faced legal charges related to drunk driving (p.636). Furthermore, the manner in which both she and her family communicate with each other reinforces the non-fictional nature of this story. There are no expectations imposed on her, no conflicts arise, and nothing particularly amiss is noted. In addition, Didion mentions visiting her aunts during this time period. All of these occurrences take place while she is visiting her relatives to celebrate her daughter’s birthday.
In this brief narrative, Joan Didion’s visit to her parents’ house inspires readers to exercise their imagination. Didion’s emotions are relatable to those who have left their childhood home or contemplate doing so. These sentiments encompass the sensation of settling into a familiar routine, reminiscing about people from the past, and reconnecting with extended family. By empathizing with Didion’s circumstances, readers can encounter the same indescribable emotions she articulates.
Both stories share a common theme centered around family. Whether it is a meaningful tradition cherished by a family member or the ability to return home for a visit, everything ultimately revolves around being in the presence of loved ones who provide unwavering love and support.
Case Memo Of The Wm Wrigley Jr Company
Blanka Dobynin is attempting to acquire a significant portion of a company’s ownership in order to compel management to restructure its capital by increasing debt and using it for dividends or stock repurchasing. This strategy benefits from the appreciation of stock value resulting from these actions. Wrigley, a prominent chewing gum producer and distributor, has a strong global presence and high brand value, giving it an advantageous position within the industry. With a diversified and counter-cyclical market, Wrigley faces minimal business risk, as reflected in its equity beta of 0.75 in 2002. As of that year, Wrigley had no debt, resulting in no financial risk. However, issuing $3 billion in debt would change the capital structure and raise the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). The WACC prior to debt stood at 10.11% calculated using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), with an unlevered beta of 0.75, a risk-free rate equivalent to the 10-year Treasury yield at 4.86%, and a risk premium of 7%. After acquiring the debt, the debt-to-equity ratio would reach approximately 70%, and the levered beta would become 1.07. With a given cost of equity at 13%, the post-recapitalization WACC would be approximately 9.15%.
With a total of 232.441 million shares, the market capitalization of the company reaches approximately 13.26 billion US dollars. The tax shield amounts to around 1,200 million and will have an immediate impact on the new share price, assuming perfect capital market conditions. Consequently, the new share price will be 56.37+5.16 = USD 62.23 per share. If we consider the leverage of USD 3,000 million with a BB rating assumption, it will significantly decrease the company’s net income and consequently reduce the EPS. However, in the case of share repurchases, the decrease in the number of outstanding shares will raise the EPS, offsetting this effect partially. In conclusion, WM Wrigley Jr. Company shareholders would benefit from recapitalization through 3 billion in debt and share repurchases, as it would increase their overall wealth by 1.2 billion. This increase reasonably compensates for the associated risks of leveraging the company.
Reaction Paper About Solas
The discussion centered on various topics regarding emergency situations, evacuation procedures, survival crafts and rescue boats, personal life-saving appliances, survival techniques at sea, and emergency radio equipment. It is vital to stay vigilant in case of emergencies and become acquainted with the muster station. By consulting the muster list, we can comprehend our roles and responsibilities as well as the signals for different emergencies. The ship’s whistle emits seven short blasts followed by one long blast for the general alarm, accompanied by an announcement from the master or captain. There are three types of lifeboats available: open, partially enclosed, and totally enclosed. Additionally, there are also diverse kinds of life rafts such as enclosed inflatable life rafts and rigid life rafts. Acquainting ourselves with personal life-saving appliances is essential since they can be valuable tools during emergencies.
Examples of items that can assist us include lifejackets, a lifebuoy, a lifebuoy with a self-igniting light, an immersion suit, a thermal protective aid (TPA), and pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnics have different types such as the rocket parachute flare which lasts up to 40 seconds, the hand flare lasting for 60 seconds, and the buoyant orange smoke signal emitting smoke for 3 minutes suitable only for daytime use. During my Elementary First Aid training, I acquired skills in immediate action during accidents or medical emergencies until designated medical personnel arrive on board. Skills learned include bandaging, controlling bleeding, and rescuing unconscious individuals. The FPFF (Fire Prevention and Firefighting) course primarily focuses on fire prevention and extinguishing techniques.
Proficiency in Personal Survival Technique
A trainee will have the ability to respond appropriately during emergencies, take actions that ensure their own survival and the survival of others, and use survival equipment correctly.
Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting
A trainee will be skilled in ensuring the safety of personnel and the ship, as well as possessing knowledge of fire prevention. Additionally, the trainee will receive instruction on the proper usage of fire appliances.
Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
This course will provide new seafarers with knowledge on different aspects of a ship and the operational protocols onboard. This will enable them to adapt to the shipboard setting and be more equipped to handle unexpected situations.