final draft

Sanjida Ridhe

Professor Jay Polish

Final draft

May 8, 2018

Was memory loss the most effect way to cope with trauma?

Memory loss is a tricky and frustrating situation which is caused by multiple factors. There are many specific cases where trauma is the reason behind your memory loss. According to research physical and emotional trauma can directly affect your memory. Sometimes the memory loss may be temporary but there are cases where it can become permanent regarding the type of trauma you went through such as a possible severe brain injury or psychological trauma. Luckily our character Nemasani, mother for “Anon”, her memory was not permanently impacted. Although she did use memory loss and denial when it came to the loss of her son.

Anonymous is a thrilling and intense play written by Naomi Iizuka that tells the heartbreaking story of the separation between a mother and her son during the midst of horrible war occuring in the background. This play starts of anon telling his story and his journey to finding and reuniting with his mom only to realize that she has forgotten him and is in denial when he is pushing the truth on her which is that he was never dead only lost. The play does go back and forth between Anon’s life and Nemasani’s and her story is everything that happened to her after her dear son was “killed in the storm”. Nemasani is working in a sweatshop, always being bothered by her boss who has no boundaries and each time she is asked about her son, she repeatedly says he’s dead. This play is definitely one for the feels and the harshness of this story becomes obvious when Anon soon does find his mother and it’s heartbreaking where she refuses to believe he is who he says he is. She constantly told herself and others that she no longer had a son. She started to believe the truth. Her true recollection of the facts refused to kick in even after Anon constantly told her what she is saying is true.

What Nemasani has done here is a clear fact of her decision to cope with trauma with Denial. I believe that she has chose to have denial has her coping mechanism. She knowingly did it and here’s why. Denial is in fact a psychological defense. It is one of the many reactions to trauma. Denial can involve denying or rejecting the traumatic event happened, refusing or denying that it was traumatic and pretending to feel an emotion of certainness when you aren’t. It is said that “If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your life”. (mayoclinic.org, lines 1-2). According to an article written by Mayo Clinic discussing denial and its effects, some symptoms of denial are (you) “won’t acknowledge a difficult situation, try not to face the facts of a problem, and downplay possible consequences of the issue”. On page 50, during the scene where Nemasani and Anon look at each other for the first time after Anon says in broken lines which in a full sentence would be “What if I told you…what If somehow…But what if- you have a son?” Nemasani is refusing to let him say what she is scared he might say. She replies with lines such as  “No. Don’t say it..please don’t”. And when Anon says “What if?” Nemani replies with “ I don’t believe in “what if”. “What if” will break your heart. After she hears that he says she has a son she immediately says “My son died. He died a long time ago. He was just a little boy and he died”. Anon is begging for her to listen and she apologizes and just simply says that she can’t. This is an example of how Nemasani fits 2 of the symptoms described above. She isn’t trying to acknowledge the truth of a difficult situation that she is speaking to the son that she thought she had lost. She also isn’t trying to face the facts of the problem. She only assumed he was dead. She never really found his body or reported what had happened to him. She was only left with having to cope with her loss and to starting a new life without him.

When I think of dealing with immense trauma, a certain career choice comes to mind and that would be anyone in the Medical department. How do they experience and cope with death? “Nearly all the students experienced some sort of degree of distress upon the death of patients. This anxiety mostly included sadness but also included guilt and anger” (OMEGA, VOL 68(3) 207-228, 2013-2014). Upon reading this I began to think of what Nemasani and Anon have done. Nemasani’s sadness brought on extreme sadness she had chosen to be oblivious to her facts and believe something that was much easier for her to understand. Anon’s anger and sadness resided when he refused to tell anyone his name. He got angry in the beginning of the story when Calista and Anon had a conversation upon where he would go since he refused to go anywhere with her. Each time he would say no. When she replied with “but this is your home”, he would always say no and make sure she knew he wanted her real home. Another example would be the mentioning of his mother throughout the various groups of people he met. A common response to a question about his mom was “Don’t talk about my mom”. It’s researched that “Students who experienced deaths that were the results of code situations (where the student may not have met the patient before) often did not have an emotional response to the losses. However some students lost patients with whom they interacted for days or even weeks, leading them to develop an attachment to the patient” (OMEGA, VOL 68(3) 207-228, 2013-2014). This is only the bond between a patient and their doctor. Imagine the bond between a mother and her child? A mother and her child seperated is meant for severe depression and can cause many types of trauma and having to cope with it, there would be drastic solutions than the one Nemasani has went through.

Nemasani dealt with trauma one way and Anon dealt with it another which was memory loss. Throughout the story, he does seem to be repeating the story of him and his mom multiple times but there are still some hazy facts here and there. He isn’t sure of most things but one thing he is of course sure of is that once he woke up from the wrath of the terrible storm and was taken in by an American family is that he knows this isn’t his real home. He also changes his name multiple times throughout the story going from “Anon, to nobody, to koori..etc”. One of his names was even “Monkey”. That’s cause to smirk! He doesn’t ever give his actual name. There was an important scene during this play that I’d like to focus on. He had trouble getting recollection of his memory but after talking to this girl Naja she helps him remember. On page 24, Naja is repeatedly asking “what do you remember?” When anon says “I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to begin”. Naja replies with “Begin in the middle, on the border, on the crossing. Begin in the place in between”. Naja is trying to help him gather his thoughts and it works. He soon starts to remember his mother and how she used to hold him as a baby. Nemasani and Anon both had memory loss but in the sense where they pushed the trauma to the back of their mind and as for Anon his perseverance in finding his mother is what was helping him get through this and remember. According to research, “Memory loss is a natural survival skill and defense mechanism humans develop to protect themselves from psychological damage”. (casapalmera.com) It is also said that “A person will often suppress memories of a traumatic event until they are ready to handle them, which may never occur”. Nemasani clearly has done this to get through the loss of her son. I would say that Anon has also done the same when it comes to suppressing memories because he doesn’t remember everything and this adventure in finding his mom is what is helping regaining his memory. Everyone he bumps into he soon collects more and more pieces he didn’t know were there.

Research has proved that the 2 coping mechanisms Nemasani and Anon have used is the case of denial and memory loss. Suppressing memories for Anon was more of a conscious choice rather than choosing to be in denial which was Nemasani’s choice because she didn’t want to face facts and if she went through denial she’d only be remembering her song instead of having to relive traumatic situations and mourne even longer than she is now. Deep down Nemasani always knew about her son and have thought about him in a different way she seems to show as if she’s not.

Works cited

Pessagno, Regina, et al. “Dealing with Death: Medical Students’ Experiences with Patient Loss.” Omega: Journal of Death & Dying, vol. 68, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 207-228. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2190/OM.68.3.b.

Staff, C. (2018). How Trauma Affects Your Memory. [online] Casapalmera.com. Available at: https://casapalmera.com/blog/how-trauma-affects-your-memory/ [Accessed 10 May 2018].

Mayo Clinic. (2018). Stuck in denial? How to move on. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/denial/art-20047926 [Accessed 10 May 2018].

reflection:
I think the trickiest pieces of paper to write our research papers. Especially in college. It’s very frustrating to know that it involves a lot more than just writing about characters and the story you actually have to search up articles that relate to your story and the point you’re trying to make across and then try to add it into your story. Finding the right kind of research and writing about it was always a big trouble I have. I still do to this day. I am proud of the way I can make analyzations though, after reading this play it was super easy to interpret this in an analytical way and come up with the topic I wanted for my research paper. After that, I would say things went downhill. Like I said it’s very difficult for me to connect the research in with the story because the kind of topic I chose was analytical and opinion based. I am not a doctor to be identifying their symptoms and giving them like some issue they have. What I will say about my research is I could have used more articles that helped probably 75% more instead of 60% percent. The research I chose could have led the topic I chose in multiple directions. Choosing one direction would be very difficult. The kind of research I was reading up upon and have come across with have made me understand this play from more psychological perspective. Any dialogue the characters such as Anon and Nemasani I was able to see it in a way a doctor would or see it in a way where I can understand that this isn’t necessarily a normal state of mind the characters were in clearly. I’m not going to lie to you I despise research papers with a passion. I hear it all the time that as I get older that is all I am going to be writing but I just don’t seem to be getting better at it. Peer review helps in the sense where I am literally getting someone else’s viewpoint on things and they are only trying to help me get better but trying to get better at a thing I don’t even think I am remotely good at is difficult.

Reflection

Through this process, I learned how to look for very specific information in the library, as well as the necessary discipline to comb through the research papers I found in order to form my own arguments about a specific subject. I learned the importance of being methodic and consistent with the research, and to not give up after the first few tries. My goal is to be a better writer, and I’m aware that I made a lot of rhetorical choices when it comes to specific words that I used or avoided using in this paper. I’m aware that this particular paper might be a bit sloppy, but I understand part of improving myself as a writer involves being honest with myself about the quality of the work.

Trauma during the migration process and the responsibility towards refugees and undocumented migrants

Federico Bardier

Professor Jay Polish

ENG102

Trauma during the migration process and the responsibility towards refugees and undocumented migrants

Political turmoil, violence, discrimination and economic hardship are some of the main reasons why people are forced to flee their countries of origin in search for a safer environment to go on with their lives and provide for their families. The United States is one of the main destinations for refugees and undocumented migrants in the world. According to the Pew Research Center, “about 3 million refugees have been resettled in the U.S. since Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, which created the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program and the current national standard for the screening and admission of refugees into the country (np)”. But the country faces its own challenges when it comes to dealing with the results of circumstances that may have originated far from U.S. soil. In many cases, the journey itself represents a grave danger for the migrant and would be refugee.

Anon(ymous) is a play written by Naomi Izuka, a Japanese-Latina-American and an immigrant herself. They play deals with the various obstacles that Anon, a refugee from an undetermined country, has to deal with in the way to and after his arrival to the U.S. Displacement, harassment, objectification and discrimination are some of the main hurdles faced by Anon once he arrives to the country, but they trauma born out of his apparent near death experience extends throughout the entire play, defining his entire experience. It also mirrors the experience of a large number of migrants and refugees while they try to get to the U.S.

According to Section 94(1) of the Immigration and Asylum Act of the United Nations Agency for Refugees, an asylum seeker is a displaced person who “…is not under 18 and has made a claim for asylum which has been recorded by the Secretary of State but which has not been determined”. We know that Anon belongs to this group, as Helen Laius tells to Nemasani, together with her husband, they adopted a “little boy the third world” that “the senator found in a refugee camp” (Izuka 15).

War, political turmoil, persecution, discrimination and political instability are some of the main vectors that drive would be refugees and undocumented migrants to seek refuge in the “developed” world and more stable regions of the world. The causes of their flight alone are enough to generate considerable trauma to the migrants who choose or decide to leave. Family, friends and most of their material possessions are left behind with the uncertain promise of a better life and the opportunity to provide for those left behind, and this can also be a source of considerable conflict. “During the migration period, refugees often move between different countries and different refugee camps. By this time, they are typically separated from their families and friends, creating intense anxiety and depression as they realize all they have lost” (George 2). Oftentimes, after arrival, a number of migrants can’t adapt or are not given the opportunity to integrate to their new environment and are stigmatized by a society that rejects anything different than a Eurocentric notion of values, beliefs and physical appearance.

“Studies of refugee youth consistently report high levels of exposure to war-related trauma and profound adverse consequences of these experiences for children’s mental health, including behavior problems, mood and anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a range of other adjustment difficulties” (Betancourt, et al 1).

In Izuka’s play, Anon leaves his country in order to escape an armed conflict that threatens his and his mother’s life. “Where I come from there was a war that lasted so long people forgot what they were fighting for. Where I come from bombs rained down from the sky night after night and boys wandered the streets with M16s” (Izuka 4). Once he is in the U.S. he suffers a different kind of violence. Nemasani (his mother) is also a victim, as she is discriminated and a victim of sexual coercion.

While the causes that drive future refugees and migrants out of their countries are traumatizing in their own right, the migration process in itself can be a very negative experience. Migrants face dangerous conditions, depending on the method of travel. “Forced migration serves as a risk factor for physical and mental health problems. Forced migrants may be exposed to starvation and injuries en route” (Nakash 1). A significant number of undocumented immigrants can’t afford to fly in or aren’t able to obtain the required permits and visas to be allowed on U.S. bound flights. Most of these migrants have no choice but to face dangerous conditions and terrain. Whether they try to navigate the Caribbean Sea or cross the Sonoran Desert, a large number of them will face life threating conditions, a professional network of human trafficking, sexual violence and other forms of harassment that will negatively impact their mental well being. In his attempt to reach the U.S., Anon almost drowns and ends up being separated from his mother. On the flip side, Nemasani believes her son drowned. The play also portrays the aspect of human trafficking by introducing a character named Strygal. Strygal drives a truck full of undocumented migrants making their way into and across the country.

The United States, as well as the vast majority of countries that receive refugees, has a network of support in place to accommodate some of the needs of this vulnerable demographic. Social workers, medical and legal professionals, as well as a number of programs that work in order to receive and integrate the newly arrived migrants. But these efforts might not be enough. A significant portion of the programs and institutions that serve this purpose are underfunded or understaffed when not both. More importantly, the causes of this crisis are not addressed. A great number of refugees and undocumented migrants had no choice but to leave their countries due to the consequences of U.S. policies, domestic and international. The strategies used for deterrence, are proven to have negative consequences and drive people to attempt a more dangerous entry through places like the desert, where they are not monitored. It also creates a more professionalized network of traffickers who can circumvent the hurdles regardless of government efforts. “Policies of deterrence, including the use of detention and temporary visas, have been widely implemented to dissuade asylum seekers from seeking protection in Western counties. Restriction of rights and access to services related to visa status negatively affect the mental health of asylum seekers” (Nakash 6).

There’s an argument to be made in favor of stricter border policies that would, in theory, deter prospective undocumented migrants from entering the country outside of the proper established channels. Logic would dictate that a lower success rate of border crossings would dissuade migrants from trying this dangerous endeavor, further strengthening the chance that they would try to immigrate through the “proper” channels. But statistics show that that is not the case. The number of deaths while attempting to enter the U.S. has increased steadily since the construction of the border fence and the only measurable result of stricter policies is a higher death toll of those attempting to cross. According to the UN Migration Agency, just between January and July of last year, the number of deaths at the Southwest sector of the U.S – Mexico border rose 17% compared to the same period of 2016 (np).

As said previously, foreign and domestic U.S. policies can be identified as one of the underlying causes that forced some of these migrants out of their countries. The two-decades-long war on drugs is one of the main vectors that drove crime and violence in Mexico, Central, and South America. The resulting violence, a product of cartel wars, has pushed countless numbers of people to flee their home countries. Military intervention in the Middle East has also created a refugee crisis in countries that were once stable. Anon and Nemasani flee their own country in order to escape the violence of what it seems to be an armed conflict of military nature and the continuous influence of gang violence.

Economic policy has also been a factor in financial crisis around the globe. The embargo against Cuba can be signaled as one of the many reasons for the poor financial situation of the island. The 2008 housing market crisis, the product of years of deregulation, also had ripple effects across the region and it had a negative impact on the world economy.

If the implications of domestic and international policies implemented by the United States in a Eurocentric fashion are felt around the world and can be identified as one of the root causes of migration and displacement, how do we respond in a responsible manner to the resulting crisis?

As a nation, we have established our status of “melting pot” and “diverse country” as a source of pride. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore” can be read in the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Evidence shows that deterrence doesn’t work and that undocumented migrants and refugees will attempt to enter the county, even if their lives are in peril. It’s also widely accepted that well-integrated migrants strengthen the communities they reside in while building a sense of resilience to the pain and oppression experienced in their homeland and in the journey to the U.S., which in turn serves to counter the social construct that they are victims without agency.

           Works cited

Betancourt, Theresa S., et al. “Trauma History and Psychopathology in War Affected Refugee Children Referred for Trauma-Related Mental Health Services in the United States.” Journal of Traumatic Stress, vol. 25, no. 6, Dec. 2012, pp. 682-690.

George, Miriam. “Migration Traumatic Experiences and Refugee Distress: Implications for Social Work Practice.” Clinical Social Work Journal, vol. 40, no. 4, Dec. 2012, pp. 429-437.

Kim, Isok. “Beyond Trauma: Post-Resettlement Factors and Mental Health Outcomes among Latino and Asian Refugees in the United States.” Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, vol. 18, no. 4, Aug. 2016, pp. 740-748.

Krogstad, Jens Manuel, and Jynnah Radford. “Key Facts about Refugees to the U.S.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 30 Jan. 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/30/key-facts-about-refugees-to-the-u-s/.

“Migrants Crossing US-Mexico Border Dying at Faster Rate in 2017: UN Migration Agency.” International Organization for Migration, 4 Sept. 2017, www.iom.int/news/migrants-crossing-us-mexico-border-dying-faster-rate-2017-un-migration-agency.

Nakash, Ora, et al. “Exposure to Traumatic Experiences among Asylum Seekers from Eritrea and Sudan during Migration to Israel.” Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, vol. 17, no. 4, Aug. 2015, pp. 1280-1286.

Does society forces immigrants into becoming Anon(Ymous). FINAL PAPER

Steeve Moliere

ENG 102: Writing Through Literature

Prof: Jay Polish

Tuesday, May 8th

 

Anon (Ymous)   

 

Does society forces immigrants into becoming Anon(Ymous).

 

Anon(Ymous), the play that left its audience with more questions than answers, the play that left me with unquenchable desire to know more; was written by Naomi Iizuka and was published in 2007. The playwriter took us on a journey, where the protagonist of the story was introduced. A young refugee that goes by multiple names and each different name had their own unique stories to share and also their own nightmare to face. “Where I come from mines are planted in the roads like deadly flowers, and the air smells like death, rank and sticky sweet”1[2] (Iizuka, Anon, 2). Anon was a refugee who fled his home country due to an endless war, where being civilize held no apparent meaning. For safety purposes, Anon and his mother had decided to migrate somewhere safer but during their voyage, they were separated in a storm. The play enfolds various controversial themes such as border crossings, wars, dehumanization, immigration, sexual harassment, and the endeavor to identify one’s identity in the midst of all the unstable chaotic shifts and forced dream sequences. Although, as essential each one of these themes were to further develop the characteristics of the characters, the audience should ask themselves: Does our society forces immigrants into becoming anonymous

Truth be told, to be able to fully comprehend the meaning behind the play and this research paper, I must first break down the author past life.  Naomi Iizuka was “born on April 22 ,1965” (Iizuka, Wikipedia), in Tokyo but grew up in Japan, Indonesia, The Netherlands and Washington D.C. With Iizuka’s mother being an American Latina and her father being Japanese, her life was very complicated as a teenager, she never completely fit anywhere due to her multicultural background. Nonetheless, Iizuka never let society held her from pursuing her dreams and although her works often follow a non-linear storyline, majority of her plays are influenced by her multicultural background. In Anon(Ymous), the audience could still see that multicultural background being integrated within the play. A formal setting was never introduced to the audience, even though majority of the characters could be seen as immigrants from the beginning of the play and besides, the playwriter left the audience with the capability to cope with the characters since they contribute to the making of this unapologetic society that torment the lives of immigrants. Society has always looked down upon immigrants, whether they were documented or undocumented. Anon wasn’t seen as documented or undocumented in the play, however though, society saw him as a parasite coming to destroy the American dream which forces him into becoming multiple different characters. “In a larger sense, you’re faced with the choice of having to change the core of your identity when you adapt to a new place” (Iizuka, Anon(Ymous)). Anon identity was crushed by the expectations of society, which forces him into becoming multiple new versions of himself, so he could be accepted in an unwelcoming society.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest” (Wiesel, Nobel Lecture). Throughout history, people has always gazed down upon immigrants, whether it was to make themselves feel superior or to dehumanize the basic foundation of their integrity. Calista was also among the people that considered themselves to be superior then Anon, during their conversation at the opening of the play, she demanded Anon to kiss her and when he refuses; she reminded him of how grateful he should be toward her demands because she saved his life. Although, her demand was disgraceful, she expected Anon to bowed down due to his circumstances.  Calista could represent our society today, she pushes Anon into becoming a new version of himself, so he could adapt to his new environment. During their conversation, Anon introduced himself as Nobody but that name didn’t met the expectation of Calista, “ANON: 1 told you my real name. CALISTA: Your real name is not “Nobody.” What kind of mom names their kid “Nobody”?” (Iizuka, Anon(Ymous). Calista was Anon second encounter throughout the play and she shaped the rest of his journey and showed him that he was uncivilized.

To be considered as civilize in a civilize society, one must have a personal name and one must respond to that personal name when being call upon. Names are very precious to us as human-beings, because that’s how we identify ourselves. Society took that away from our protagonist and turned him into an Anon(Ymous). The United States has always been seen as a safe haven of opportunity for immigrants and for this reason, immigrants from all around the world tend to risk their lives to get this country and hoping that their live will get better. However, once they arrive their perspective change, some immigrants are able to cope with their new identify and others find themselves lost and unable to regain their humanitarian ways due to the pressure that are being apply on them by society.

“Despite efforts through a wide range of human rights pursuits, integration policies, multicultural policies instituted by various levels of governments, many experience various forms of discrimination” (Teixeira, Carlos and Li Wei. Pg. 224). Upon losing his mother, Anon found himself in dreaded situation. Fighting to remember his true identity and also trying to survive in a new land, where he’s seen not as a human being but as a parasite. “NASREEN: What’s your name? ANON (Seeing the CURRY sign): Koo-ri…. ALI: Remarkable. A very large cockroach endowed with the gift of speech. (Iizuka, pg.69).  Ali saw Anon and referred to him as an insect, due to his appearance and treated him not as if he was just another citizen but as a foreigner. Wherever our protagonist found himself within the play, another character was always there to dehumanize him and showed him how inferior he was compare to the characters.

Despite what the playwriter might have try to teach us within the play, immigrants are being dehumanize everyday within our society and truth be told, it’s understandable. The people that are feeling superior than documented or undocumented immigrant are rooted in ignorance and prejudice. People are often find themselves scare of what they might not understand, they fear that newcomers with different languages, cultures and religions are unwilling to change their ways to adapt to the American society. The belligerence of the older generation line of Americans to immigrants were created long before Anon(Ymous) was written, it has become a part of our society and as times goes by it will become an ideology that will be push toward the younger generation. Any immigrants that migrates to a new land will be able to cope with Anon, leaving their homeland, in search of a better life and to find themselves lost chasing after their true identity.

 

Work Cited Page

Carlos, Teixeira and Li Wei. “Immigrant and Refugee Experiences in North American Cities.” Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, Jul-Sep2009, p. 221. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/15562940903150030.

Elie Wiesel – “Nobel Lecture: Hope, Despair and Memory”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 6 May 2018. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-lecture.html

Hirschman, Charles. “The Impact of Immigration on American Society:Looking Backward to the Future”. Tr@nsit online, 2007. http://www.iwm.at/transit/transit-online/the-impact-of-immigration-on-american-society/

Iizuka, Naomi. “Background- Age”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Iizuka.

Iizuka, Naomi. “Anon(Ymous): A Drama”. Playscripts, 2007.

https://outragerous.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/anonymous.pdf  

 

Reflective artist’s statement

            Throughout this research assignment, I’ve learned many valuable things and one of the most important one, was my ability to gather a lot of information and be able to integrate those information that I found into my thesis. This research paper was very complex because so many unanswered questions were going through my mind and it was very hard to find reliable source of information regarding the play itself “Any(Ymous)”, since it was written a few years ago and to be exact in 2007. Nonetheless, by focusing on one particular question, I was able to narrow down my search area into a specific category and that really helps with completing the assignment.  This particular research paper has really help me in various forms.

I’ve written multiple research paper prior to writing this one, however a professor has never asked to integrate a scholarly article into my paper and by looking for a specific scholarly article, I learned how to use the LaGuardia library to my advantage and I also learned that there’s a ton of free websites within the LaGuardia library that I could use to help me become a better writer. In the future, I will be more comfortable searching for information and now that I understand the process behind a well written research paper, I believe that I will be able to accomplish more.  Researching my thesis wasn’t as complicated as researching the play itself; due to the dream sequences, it was very difficult to fully grasp and understanding the playwriter point of view. Which left a lot of space for the audience to interpret the play as they seem fit and as much as I enjoyed reading the play, I am still unsatisfied because of my unanswered questions. I could have pushed my analysis further, If I had the opportunity to interview playwriter, Naomi Iizuka and ask her about the truth behind Anon personality and if he was truly dead. As an immigrant, I could relate to Anon story and understand the reason behind his decision to keep his real identity hidden, whether it was intentional or not and also, I chose to use certain words to convey my readers because I truly believe that society has the tendency of looking down upon immigrants or sometimes even American citizens. Specific words were used in my paper and truth be told, these words weren’t used to trick the readers but to shine some light on the dehumanization that has been happening within our society towards documented or undocumented immigrants.  My partner and I, share some hard truth about each other’s research papers and personally I found his insights to be quite useful. Although we had different questions, we both were trying to convince our readers that our topic was important. In some ways, it did more harms then good due to how differently we interpreted the play, my partner believed in the fantasy that Anon was actually dead and all of these memories were just replaying in his head before his death, although we argued about it, he never actually showed any evidence to support his claim,  however I truly believe that Anon is alive within the play and I also believe that society’s expectation has pushed him into becoming multiple versions of himself so he could survive in different environments.

How Does Illegal Immigration Affect a Person’s Development? Final Paper

Kayla Rivas

Professor Polish

English 102

8 May 2018

How Does Illegal Immigration Affect a Person’s Development?

Many people that make up the United States have migrated here from other countries. This shows us how diverse our country is and with this diversity comes a lot of cultural problems. Some people struggle to maintain their true self while trying to fit in to their new countries societal norms. Others may have identity crises from migrating such as Anon in the play Anon(ymous). Anon is a perfect example of how kids and families are affected by immigration and how hard it is to adjust. Due to these effects, illegal immigration has lifelong effects on a person’s development whether its positive or negative.

Immigration nowadays is either seen as illegal Mexicans coming to the United States and doing “bad” stuff or refugees escaping Syria or Iraq. Many people from South America and Central America do travel through Mexico to get to the United States. The mentality that all of the people crossing through Mexico has to be abolished because immigration is something many people do and it’s not just one certain group. These stereotypes really affect the people that are migrating.  The immigrants might feel alienated and worthless which can really set them back. Without that support that they need, they may tend to lose hope and choose a wrong path. Some people may be resilient to these obstacles that they now face and be motivated to do so much more with their life’s, but the risk factors are so big that many immigrants are forced to live their life’s in fear instead.

With this fear that the undocumented Hispanic immigrants have to life with, comes their social life. Many kids also migrate here, not just grown-ups which is another idea people need to clarify. Some kids are sent alone by their parents because their families want them to escape poverty and get a better life which isn’t guaranteed but they’re willing to take the risk. According to an article by UNICEF, “Independent migrant children are significantly affected by the absence of protection and support from their families, and by the challenges of their new situations after migration.” This quote is crucial to understand because these kids are not only losing everything they’re used too but they are also left to face a new world all on their own. It’s almost unimaginable to think that an eighteen-year-old or younger can be sent to another country to help their family and themselves, however, this is happening. Not all kids come alone but they all face similar things, discrimination, identity crises, and some may even experience PTSD.

In Anon(ymous) we see how Anon was separated at sea from his mother. This was the part that shaped the whole play. Anon was very young and can’t find his mother now that he’s older. Throughout the play Anon seems depressed and with a very low self-esteem. Anon even refers to himself as “nobody” and is constantly changing his name to fit in. Anon went as far to call himself “nobody” which is really powerful. Anon feels like nothing because he lost everything he knew and loved which is what many undocumented immigrants feel as well.  These are all examples of how immigrant kids can find it hard to relate to others and fit into society. This is one side effect that immigrant children go through.

On May 7, 2018 a law was passed in regard to illegal immigration; people who come into the United States with underage kids will immediately be captured and separated. This is another huge obstacle that kids face now. Families no longer have that chance to send their kids to this country in hopes of a better life. The border patrol is inhumane, and they don’t realize the harm they are doing. Even though they keep making laws to prevent immigration, the Hispanic people have too much hope to stop. There will be people that will still try to come to reach for their dreams. Kids who were here before this law change and came with their families may be given an education compared to the kids that come alone. Although they get to go to school it may not all be as perfect as people think. The kids can experience bullying because of their nationality, they may have to learn the language of the new country and this can set the kid behind academically. Some kids may be put in special education classrooms because of things such as language. The kid may not want to speak or socialize, or they may also be traumatized so they are put in those classrooms.

Nowhere in the play did Anon go to school, he was too busy trying to survive and figure out what he should do next and where his family went. This can be relatable to the immigrant kids as well, deepening on their age. If a teenager or young adult goes to a new country they may have to work as soon as they get here instead of finishing their education.  This is another factor as to why many Hispanic undocumented immigrants find that going to college is a huge risk and struggle.

Kids may also face lack of reinforcement from their parents due to the language barrier or fear. Some families are made of many different legal statuses’ which is known as “mixed status families” according to Luis H. Zayas and Mollie H. Bradlee. This doesn’t mean that the kids don’t have motivation from their families, support can be given regardless of the language. What does affect the kid is not having their parents as involved in their academic life as native parents may be to their kids. If the parent is illegal they could be fearful of being caught and separated so they decide to stay inside their area of comfort.  It is clear to see that kids with undocumented parents have more struggles compared to kids whose parents are from the country.

In the play Anon(ymous) we can see many things that were mentioned previously. Not only did Anon lose his mother during their immigration journey but he fits in with the group of kids that end up alone. Anon has to face the world alone and due to his traumatic past, he doesn’t know who he is or if he’s even worth something. Anon is bullied by people in power which can be a factor of his low self-esteem. This is common with undocumented immigrants as well; people with power tend to abuse their position and abuse the immigrants. Undocumented immigrants can’t even complain if they don’t get paid the right amount because they have no papers. Going to the police is a chance of being deported to them. The only option they have is to go alone with it like Anon did when he got called “monkey” in the play.

Anon(ymous) was a play that really touched upon many issues in our society whether it be illegal immigration or people in power taking advantage. Due to my research I was able to dig deeper into Anon(ymous). When I first read the play, I didn’t get the same impact as I did after realizing what the play was actually trying to convey. After many discussions and research, I was able to see the underlying factors of the play. Illegal Immigration is just one tiny topic next to the many that the play touches upon. Immigration is a crucial part in the play and in Anon’s life. Anon struggles throughout the play because of all the negative things that come with immigration. Anon’s experiences are very relatable to those of Hispanic people that migrate to new places.  Many people are on the same boat as Anon; each with a different story but they all have one thing in common: hope.

 

Works Cited:

Johnson, Hans and Laura Hill. “Illegal Immigration.” (2011):18 pages.

UNICEF. “Migration and Children.” 1 page.

 

 

 

Reflection:

Anon(ymous) was a very creative artwork. Before I actually started this research, I was not aware about all the topics that were included in the play. There are many topics imbedded in the play such as illegal immigration, abuse of power and depression. I learned more about all these topics during my research. It was very interesting to learn how all of those topics relate in a way and how these topics actually happen to people in real life. Many undocumented immigrants go through similar experiences like Anon’s. During peer review I got feedback that helped me with my argument and my paper as a whole. I learned to be more specific when dealing with what immigrants I was talking about. I choose Hispanic immigrants because they are one of the biggest numbers of people that migrate to the United States. I also wanted to shine a light on how difficult it is for them after they come to the country because many people have a stereotype of them and don’t bother to care about them. This is one reason why I wanted to speak about Hispanics, but I also thought that Anon may have been from Latin or Central America. Some of the fruits mentioned in the play are made in Hispanic countries therefore I came to this conclusion. Overall, this experience has been a great learning experience. This project taught me more about how to read things in more detail because many things have underlying factors.

How does Immigration affect a person’s development? (Draft)

How does Immigration affect a person’s development?

Many people that make up the United States have migrated here from other countries. This shows us how diverse our country is and with this diversity comes a lot of cultural problems. Some people struggle to maintain their true self while trying to fit in to their new countries societal norms. Others may have identity crises from migrating such as Anon in the play Anon(ymous). Anon is a perfect example of how kids and families are affected by immigration and how hard it is to adjust. Due to these effects, immigration has a huge effect on a person’s development whether its positive or negative.

Immigration nowadays is either seen as illegal Mexicans coming to the United States and doing “bad” stuff or refugees escaping Syria or Iraq. This mentality has to be abolished because immigration is something many people do and it’s not just one certain group. These stereotypes really affect the people that are migrating. The immigrants might feel alienated and worthless which can really set them back. Without that support that they need, they may tend to lose hope and choose a wrong path. Some people may be resilient to these obstacles that they now face and be motivated to do so much more with their life’s, but the risk factors are so big that many immigrants are forced to live their life’s in fear instead.

With this fear that the immigrants have to life with, comes their social life. Many kids also migrate here, not just grown-ups which is another idea people need to clarify. Some kids are sent alone by their parents because their families want them to escape poverty and get a better life which isn’t guaranteed but they’re willing to take the risk. According to an article by UNICEF, “Independent migrant children are significantly affected by the absence of protection and support from their families, and by the challenges of their new situations after migration.” This quote is crucial to understand because these kids are not only losing everything they’re used too but they are also left to face a new world all on their own. It’s almost unimaginable to think that a eighteen-year-old or younger can be sent to another country to help their family and themselves, however, this is happening. Not all kids come alone but they all face similar things, discrimination, identity crises and some may even experience PTSD.

Kids who came with their families may be given an education compared to the kids that come alone. Although they get to go to school it may not all be as perfect as people think. The kids can experience bullying because of their nationality, they may have to learn the language of the new country and this can set the kid behind academically. Some kids may be put in special education classrooms because of things such as language. The kid may also be traumatized that they are also put in those classrooms, they may not want to speak or socialize. They also are trying very hard to fit in and as a child that’s developing everything can be so confusing. Another effect kids may face is not having that much reinforcement from their parents due to the language barrier and fear. Some families are made of many different legal statuses’ which is known as “mixed status families” according to Luis H. Zayas and Mollie H. Bradlee. This doesn’t mean that the kids don’t have motivation from their families, support can be given regardless of the language. What does affect the kid is not having their parents as involved in their academic life as native parents may be to their kids. If the parent is illegal they could be fearful of being caught and separated so they decide to stay inside there are of comfort.  It is clear to see that kids with undocumented parents have more struggles compared to kids whose parents are from the country.

In the play Anon(ymous) we can see many things that were mentioned previously. Not only did Anon lose his mother during their immigration journey but he fits in with the group of kids that end up alone. Anon has to face the world alone and due to his traumatic past, he doesn’t know who he is or if he’s even worth something. Anon is bullied by people in power which can be a factor of his low self-esteem. Nowhere in the play did Anon go to school, he was too busy trying to survive and figure out what he should do next and where his family went. All these struggles can be relatable to kids that have experienced immigration.

Due to my research I was able to dig deeper into Anon(ymous). Reading it isn’t enough to understand the play. After many discussions and research, we are able to see the underlying factors of the play. Immigration is just one tiny topic next to the many the play touches upon. Immigration is a crucial part in the play and in Anons life. Anon struggles throughout the play because of all the negative things that come with immigration. Many people are on the same boat as Anon; each with a different story but they all have one thing in common: hope.

Works Cited:

Luis H. Zayas and Mollie H. Bradlee, Illegal Immigration

UNICEF, ” Migration and Children”,

 

Questions:

  1. Is my thesis clear and arguable?
  2. Is the connection between Anon(ymous) and my research clear?
  3. Does the paper flow?
  4. Are there parts I should take out or expand on?

first draft

Sanjida Ridhe

Professor Jay Polish

First draft

May 1st, 2018

Was memory loss the most effect way to cope with trauma?

Memory loss is a tricky and frustrating situation which is caused by multiple factors. There are many specific cases where trauma is the reason behind your memory loss. According to research physical and emotional trauma can directly affect your memory. Sometimes the memory loss may be temporary but there are cases where it can become permanent regarding the type of trauma you went through such as a possible severe brain injury or psychological trauma. Luckily our character Nemasani, mother for “Anon”, her memory was not permanently impacted. Although she did use memory loss and forgetting her son and repeatedly telling herself and others that her son was dead to copy with losing him.

Anonymous is a thrilling and intense play written by Naomi Iizuka that tells the heartbreaking story of the separation between a mother and her son during the midst of horrible war occuring in the background. This play starts of anon telling his story and his journey to finding and reuniting with his mom only to realize that she has forgotten him and is in denial when he is pushing the truth on her which is that he was never dead only lost. The play does go back and forth between Anon’s life and Nemasani’s and her story is everything that happened to her after her dear son was “killed in the storm”. Nemasani is working in a sweatshop, always being bothered by her boss who has no boundaries and each time she is asked about her son, she repeatedly says he’s dead. This play is definitely one for the feels and the harshness of this story becomes obvious when Anon soon does find his mother and it’s heartbreaking where she refuses to believe he is who he says he is. She constantly told herself and others that she no longer had a son. She started to believe the truth. Her true recollection of the facts refused to kick in even after Anon constantly told her what she is saying is true.

What Nemasani has done here is a clear fact of her decision to cope with trauma with Denial. Denial is in fact a psychological defense. It is one of the many reactions to trauma. Denial can involve denying or rejecting the traumatic event happened, refusing or denying that it was traumatic and pretending to feel an emotion of certainness when you aren’t. It is said that “If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your life”. (mayoclinic.org, lines 1-2). According to an article written by Mayo Clinic discussing denial and its effects, some symptoms of denial are (you) “won’t acknowledge a difficult situation, try not to face the facts of a problem, and downplay possible consequences of the issue”. On page 50, during the scene where Nemasani and Anon look at each other for the first time after Anon says in broken lines which in a full sentence would be “What if I told you…what If somehow…But what if- you have a son?” Nemasani is refusing to let him say what she is scared he might say. She replies with lines such as  “No. Don’t say it..please don’t”. And when Anon says “What if?” Nemani replies with “ I don’t believe in “what if”. “What if” will break your heart. After she hears that he says she has a son she immediately says “My son died. He died a long time ago. He was just a little boy and he died”. Anon is begging for her to listen and she apologizes and just simply says that she can’t. This is an example of how Nemasani fits 2 of the symptoms described above. She isn’t trying to acknowledge the truth of a difficult situation that she is speaking to the son that she thought she had lost. She also isn’t trying to face the facts of the problem. She only assumed he was dead. She never really found his body or reported what had happened to him. She was only left with having to cope with her loss and to starting a new life without him.

Nemasani dealt with trauma one way and Anon dealt with it another which was memory loss. Throughout the story, he does seem to be repeating the story of him and his mom multiple times but there are still some hazy facts here and there. He isn’t sure of most things but one thing he is of course sure of is that once he woke up from the wrath of the terrible storm and was taken in by an American family is that he knows this isn’t his real home. He also changes his name multiple times throughout the story going from “Anon, to nobody, to koori..etc”. One of his names was even “Monkey”. That’s cause to smirk! He doesn’t ever give his actual name. There was an important scene during this play that I’d like to focus on. He had trouble getting recollection of his memory but after talking to this girl Naja she helps him remember. On page 24, Naja is repeatedly asking “what do you remember?” When anon says “I don’t know where to begin. I dont know how. I dont know how to begin”. Naja replies with “Begin in the middle, on the border, on the crossing. Begin in the place in between”. Naja is trying to help him gather his thoughts and it works. He soon starts to remember his mother and how she used to hold him as a baby. Nemasani and Anon both had memory loss but in the sense where they pushed the trauma to the back of their mind and as for Anon his perseverance in finding his mother is what was helping him get through this and remember. According to research, “Memory loss is a natural survival skill and defense mechanism humans develop to protect themselves from psychological damage”. (casapalmera.com) It is also said that “A person will often suppress memories of a traumatic event until they are ready to handle them, which may never occur”. Nemasani clearly has done this to get through the loss of her son.

1. Is my thesis good?

2. Am i using my research correctly and providing enough in my essay?

3. is the idea relevant enough or should i focus on another question?

4. do you have any recommendations on how i can connect my research to the story?

5. how is my format for the essay, is it all over the place or is topic placement correct

The experience of trauma during the migration process and its portrayal in Anon(ymous)

The different causes of migration by refugees, undocumented migrants and any vulnerable demographic.

Different methods of migration and their risks

Traumas experienced during migration

Structure of support upon arrival

The migration process and its consequences as portrayed in Anon(ymous)

Is it accurate? Does it define Anon? Why?

Does deterrence work as a strategy and does the US have a responsibility to the migrants and refugees before they arrive in the US? (Thesis here: it does not, and yes, the US has a responsibility to refugees and undocumented migrants).

Anonymous

Jaylin Pinguil           

Does Anon from the play Anon(ymous) suffer from dissociative amnesia resulting from his experience with war?

    War is an element that greatly affects individuals both physically and mentally. People who are often caught in the middle of war often face trauma as loved ones are lost in the crossfire, or families are separated as they try to escape looking for a safer home. In Anonymous we see how Anon is greatly affected by war especially after being separated from his mother. He copes by constantly referring to himself as someone else or as no one stating “ I changed my name, I became Anonymous, my name is Anonymous.” Part of his coping mechanisms refers to him becoming forgetful or repressing past memories. As they often stem from torment and experiences of the war. How he hears bombs dropping, smells the sweet and spicy odor of death or seeing bombs planted like flowers in the ground. Often leading him to block out information often as a result of these stressful or traumatic events.

Cited sources-

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.

Effect of War Upon the Minds of Children
Bert I. Beverly
Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1943 Jul; 33(7): 793–798.

  1. Does my research question make sense?
  2. Is my question to lengthy? Show I cut it down?
  3. As I continue writing should I dedicate a paragraph where I only talk about and explain what dissociative amnesia is? Should it include Anon’s mother?
  4. As this is the first paragraph is my research question and examples straightforward?
  5. Is the idea interesting?