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Reading through a Lens

As an extremely privileged Asian-American living in a sheltered community, when reading We Were Here by Matt de la Peña, my identity greatly influenced the way I perceived the story and its characters. Since I am an Asian-American in a fortunate household, I was able to empathize with Mong’s situation before his fall. However, also because of my privilege, I was shocked at the conditions that Miguel and Rondell had to endure and was unable to relate to their experiences. My identity is a lens through which I read; it makes me relate to certain parts of a story while making me completely ignorant of other parts. Because of my identity, I have a unique perspective on parts of the story. First, when reading Mong’s file, his situation before his parents’ death resonated with me. His father came to America for higher education in a reputable university and later permanently settled down in California; similarly, my parents immigrated to America for their professional degrees and settled dow