Synthesis Essay Example 2020

In the story "Us and Them" the speaker's family seeks to fit in and remain cool. He is baffled by a new family in the neighborhood who stand out because of their social abnormalities. The writer gets a new perspective on life as he observes the strange, ignorant, and mysterious new family. In "Where Worlds Collide" people fleeing a politically, socially, or economically poor country are given a misleading first impression of the supposed "promised land," America. Sudden introduction to a different culture commonly causes cases of curiosity, confusion, and mental conflict.
Being a kid, the author in "Us and Them" maintains a constant curiosity and a desire for entertainment. He thinks the Tomkeys, an unwelcomed family in the neighborhood, to be so queer, he decides to spy on them from their bushes. In his observations, he noticed a lack of TV watching and an excess of talking at the dinner table in comparison to his own family. Knowing the family didn't even own a TV, the speaker realized how confused they must be, hearing people talk about tv shows or making pop culture references.
The speaker didn't think much of it when the Tomkey family was out of town on Halloween night. That is, until they showed up at their door the next day in full costume exclaiming Trick or Treat! In a desperate attempt to prevent his hard earned candy from being given away liberally, he stuffed as much as he could into his face. Unable to swallow, he made himself look like an idiot in front of his mom and upset his family. "For months I had... watched over these people, but now, with one stupid act they had turned my pity into something hard and ugly."
Similar to the uncultured Tomkeys, Immigrants in the passage "Where Worlds Collide" are puzzled by the new environment they are hit by when they enter an american airport. Airports are infamous for excessive security and stressful circumstances. This becomes exponentially worse when no one around you knows your language and the messages you do understand are strict, warning, and even threatening. "There are no military planes on the tarmac here, the newcomers notice, no khaki soldiers in fatigues, no instructions not to take photographs, as at home; but there are civilian restrictions every bit as strict as in many a police state."
These two examples display the difficulty for people with different backgrounds and experiences to find acceptance. People with different social standards than their surrounding environment find conflict between their own practice and the culture they are expected to accept.
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