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HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 2 Comparative Analysis and Reflection

Name

Capella University

HUM FPX 1150 Cultural Understanding in a Global World

Prof. Name

Date

Comparative Analysis and Reflection

The literary work chosen for analysis is the short story/poem entitled “Gate A-4,” authored by Naomi Shihab Nye. Nye, born in 1952 to a Palestinian father and an American mother, draws upon her diverse cultural background to craft her literary pieces. According to the Academy of American Poets (n.d.), Nye’s poetry mirrors her Arab American identity, exploring themes of heritage and peace with a strong humanitarian ethos. This analysis endeavors to delve into the narrative and underlying significance of Nye’s “Gate A-4.”

Gate A-4

“Gate A-4” narrates the journey of a woman traveling from an Albuquerque airport to El Paso, Texas. While awaiting her flight, an announcement soliciting Arabic speakers at Gate A-4 compels her to approach. There, she encounters a distressed woman clad in traditional Palestinian attire. Fluent in Arabic, the protagonist offers solace and informs her about a flight delay caused by a medical procedure the Palestinian woman requires. A bond swiftly forms between the two, with the protagonist remaining by her side and sharing homemade mamool cookies. The narrative transitions into a poem, accentuating acts of kindness, shared snacks, and a sense of solidarity among diverse women at the gate.

HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 2 Comparative Analysis and Reflection

Cultural Values

Nye intricately incorporates cultural values such as language, cuisine, and customs into “Gate A-4.” Language emerges as a pivotal element, as the initial language barrier induces distress until another woman intervenes to translate. The exchange of mamool cookies symbolizes the unifying potential of food, accentuating its capacity to foster connections irrespective of cultural disparities. Additionally, Nye introduces the tradition of carrying a plant as a symbol of maintaining ties to one’s heritage and customs.

Cultural Perspective

On a personal note, this narrative resonates with my upbringing in a multicultural household. Analogous to the Palestinian woman in the narrative, my grandmother encountered language barriers, and witnessing a stranger extend assistance evokes a sense of familiarity and reassurance. The communal act of sharing food, reminiscent of my familial gatherings, underscores the universal role of food in nurturing connections across diverse backgrounds.

References

Academy of American Poets. (n.d.). About Naomi Shihab Nye. Poets.org. Retrieved from https://poets.org/poet/naomi-shihab-nye

Belle, J. (2020). How Food Brings People Together — Julia Belle’s Seasonings. Julia Belle’s Seasonings. Retrieved from https://juliabelles.com/blog/how-food-brings-people-together

HUM FPX 1150 Assessment 2 Comparative Analysis and Reflection

Shihab Nye, N. (2008). Gate A-4 by Naomi Shihab Nye – Poems. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved from https://poets.org/poem/gate-4.

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