Urban Life Through Cultural Diversity

Essay, 2010

14 Pages



1. Introduction

2. Discussion
a) Brief evaluation of the novel
b) Onlooking
c) Canadian policing race in focus
d) Finishing strokes

3. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Cultural diversity of Canada is a fact that needs more observation. Canada is a huge country that is divided into different territories with people living in terms of their cultural, ethnical and religious identity. In this respect old generations are followed by new generations. It is significant to work out whether the struggle of multinationalism is still near or not. Dionne Brand is one of protesting Canadian writers who scoped out in her novel What we all long for the “face” of current problem on examples of a group of youngsters.

The most progressive layer of the society should be at focus while judging on the weaknesses of definite society. New trends and fresh thinking help correlate the whole idea about society in its current development or, as it may appear, delay. This is why sociological research on current evaluation of social life in Toronto in its versatility is better to provide along with artistic thought. Brand’s novel and research by scholars Jan Lin and Christopher Mele run the gamut on the features of policing and racism in Toronto. The whole observation is critically compiled, so that a reader could have a possibility to re-think the truth of modern society even in civilized countries, such as Canada.

On the other hand, it is not that easy to point out ideas on this striking problem of modernity without supporting it by means of different researches and discussions. In this respect the argumentative flow of the essay is patterned with authoritative and credible sources. In fact, it serves as another opportunity for a reader to surpass the boundaries of the dialogue between different ethnicities and cultures. The novel by Dionne Brand and the book by Jan Lin and Christopher Mele are interrelated in understanding affection of urban life in Toronto through cultural diversity of its population.

2. Discussion

a) Brief evaluation of the novel

The novel What we all long for embraces a description of several young people life, Tuyen, Carla, Oku, Quy and Jackie. Their life is considered with wandering through the stone jungles of huge Toronto. They discover different amusements and fancies, such as music, biking, loving and longing. Their ethnical identities correspond to the multicultural character of Toronto where the majority of people are Anglophone and of European belonging. However, the next predominant ethnical group is Chinese and many other representatives of Asian countries.

These young people are overwhelmed by longing toward one another. However, their ways go apart in terms of love and intimate feelings. The cityscape provides rhythm of how these youngsters are struggling for what they long for. They are described to show the difference of the city in its stuck and unfair nature. The emergence of Quy, Tuyen’s previously lost old brother provides a resonance in the novel. It unfolds the tragedy of this guy and his relief while joining Tuyen’s friends.

The whole concept of the novel puts forward reflections on how city is related to people living in it and vice versa. The ethnical diversity of Toronto is implied in the words of narrator, namely: “There are Italian neighborhoods and Vietnamese neighborhoods in this city; there are Chinese ones and Ukrainian ones and Pakistani ones and Korean ones and African ones” (Brand 4). Points on the versatility of Canada in terms of Toronto are strengthened in the beginning of the novel. It recapitulates the most significant idea of it, namely: one should understand the whole text in its relevance to humane and rationality between individuals inhabiting Toronto.

Four main characters are similar in their devotion to Toronto, a place of their living since childhood. The book provides fair estimation of them as ones “born in the city from people born elsewhere” (Brand 20). Quest for gaining the reality of Toronto is at a core for the characters in the book. They are striving to get the momentum of their living. Their hopes and their tries are concentrated on having more freedom from biases of people surrounding them. Moreover, they stand for being a constituent part of anglicized society in terrain of Toronto. Further researches on the novel and opinions of critics gave more proofs on the capability of Dionne Brand in showing current social problems encompassing the city in close relation to contemporary reality of youth living in it.

b) Onlooking

The idea of exemplifying real state of affairs in the country through the eyes of youth was taken successfully by the author. Brand’s ability to designate how people cope with the situation concerning multinationalism is artistically weighty. Her talent is discovered on the examples of her personal reasoning and feelings about living in Toronto. Her sociological research discovers new frontiers of gaining the gist of urban life. She is apt at using language perfectly due to her parallel talent of a poet. All in all, Dionne Brand and her novel seem to be as one. Features and characters represent the idea of contemporary instability in human relations. The value of a man is considered to be of high or low quality depending on the racial belonging. This detrimental effect gets global connections.

It is no surprise that in neighboring the United States the problem of racial struggle takes place for a long time. Racism obtained global character historically. This point is better to be reduced in contemporary human relations. “The diversity of struggles that characterizeurban movements is related to experiences of domination and exploitation encountered in everyday life and filtered through the grid of the new global order” (Lin and Mele 344). Indeed, urban life and people urbanized by impulses of the city cannot be imparted. The role of a man is significant in the city due to his/her role in making it beating and rumbling. Subway, bridges, streets, downtowns and other significant features of Toronto promote the spirit of this city. As a part of American subsystem, Toronto is really important for launching urban life along with such greatest cities as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Caracas (Lin and Mele 224). Such cities cannot possess and be a shelter for solely one nation. They depend on people going in and out for their existence. Toronto is applicable in this case as the city of great many nationalities and cultures across its wide area.


Excerpt out of 14 pages


Urban Life Through Cultural Diversity
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
430 KB
Toronto, youth way of life, multinational society
Quote paper
Vladimir Schenyatsky (Author), 2010, Urban Life Through Cultural Diversity, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/147286


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