Argument Driven Analysis of the Article American Space, Chinese Place

Argument Driven Analysis of the Article American Space, Chinese Place

Tuan talks about Chinese people’s rootedness as a comparison to American people’s pursuit of freedom in his article "American Space, Chinese place". As a Chinese student who studies abroad in America, I am really interested in what Tuan talks about. People here in America love to decorate their gardens outside their houses while Chinese do not pay that much attention to things like this because what they value is the environment inside their homes. I cannot help asking myself what causes this interesting phenomenon. While Tuan points out that it is the different cultures that shape the discrepancy between American and Chinese concept of "home". I agree with him on this part, however, I must contend that as of recent Chinese have in fact travelled and experienced life in other places, they learn to explore the world without disobeying their traditions and values.
What is the emotion brought by traditional Chinese culture? As we all know, the traditional Confusion principles had a basis in common Chinese traditions and beliefs. It was based on hierarchy that everyone should behave suitably according his or her status whether at home or in society such as respecting the elders and, according to later interpreters, the respect of husbands by their wives. Confucius also championed strong familial loyalty, ancestor worship, and the family as a basis for an ideal government. Both of the idea that the a good family relationship is the first step to the construction of the whole country, and the philosophy of correct social relationships help explain Chinese people's love and loyalty of family and a fear of loss of one's stability and rootedness.
Chinese people's love for their culture is seen in many ways, such as with food. We can see the example of this in Chinatown. One of the most important reasons why Chinatown exists is because Chinese people like to have traditional food, which makes them feel as if they were home. You can see all kinds of cuisine in Chinatown and people love to go there, which gives them a feeling of home. There is also the fear of changes that Chinese people have. We are particular about "Qi Chang", which means atmosphere, and is considered to affect our behavior and life. Once there was a famous saying by a Chinese poet who said that "the atmosphere is different in one’s homeland from that of other places.", which helps explain Chinese people's strive for atmosphere and their fear of change in the atmosphere around them due to their inability to comprehend.
When it comes to American culture, it is totally different. The attitude of exploration and the pursuit of freedom are greatly advocated in American culture. Being independent and autonomous is good characteristic, and parents always expect their children to explore the world by themselves. An American adult who still lives with his or her parents is considered incapable. On the contrary, three generations of a family living together in a house is considered the highest standard of a good family relationship in China. What causes this discrepancy? As a matter of fact, America has become increasingly strong during continuous changes and explorations, while wars have slowed down the development of China. American people have learnt a lot from these changes, which have given them a pursuit of freedom, and enthusiasm for the unknown, while Chinese people have suffered a lot from those huge changes in their country, such as the closed-cloorism in the Qing Dynasty and the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, both of which gave a hard punch to the sense of security of Chinese people.
Nowadays, Chinese people's roots are not limited to their own country, as Tuan points out. During the process of learning the importance of exploration and adventure, they have shifted their rootedness (love for the homeland) and fear of the unknown for greater goals. Their love for their homeland encourages them to strive for a better living standard for their families while their fear in loss of stability and roots does not stop their will to explore the world. These consist of what I say-- the impact of the gradual changes of the proportion between rational exploration and emotional feelings of love and fear.
In a word, the two basic human emotions—love and fear, combined with the development of society are encouraging Chinese people to explore the world around them instead of being tied to place or being bound to his or her homeland anymore, with little hope of betterment. With travelling and experiencing life in other places, Chinese people learn to explore the world without disobeying their traditions and values.

Works cited
Yi- Fu Tuan. "American Space, Chinese Place". Norton Mix.
Ed. Katie Hannah. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc 2010. 248-251. Print.