Essay on Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits by Suki Kim

It the essay Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits, Suki Kim, a Korean American writer represents her autobiographical story, the story of Korean immigrants who came to the United States in the search for better life. Suki was raised in the rich family in South Korea. Once, her father, a Korean millionaire and a well-known businessman, lost everything: his shipping company, mining business and hotels. In South Korea, there is a law that bankruptcy is punishable by a jail term. That is why Suki and her family decided to flee to the United States, without money and any support.

In the new country, Suki’s family faced poverty, discrimination, unemployment, language problems, and many other social problems. However, Suki never gave up, as well as her father and other family members. In her essay, she writes: More brutal than learning English was facing poverty with a rich girl’s habits and memory (Kim, 2007, p. 63). The most important point of this essay is that Suki Kim is not ashamed of sharing her life changing experience and her problems she faced in the USA, and she proves the fact that any person can make every effort in order to survive.

Moreover, Suki noticed the difference between her old and new life. She had to change her social status, her interests, her friends, etc. She watched her glamorous mother, not long ago a society lady who lunch, taking on a job as a fish filleter at a market (Kim, 2007, p. 63).  It was difficult for her to see that many students in her class held less respect for teachers and other students. She faced many other difficulties which had an enormous impact on her lifestyle, values, beliefs and self-perception. Today Suki Kim states that she is 100 percent American on paper but not quite in her soul (Kim, 2007, p. 63). In her sole, she remains a Korean girl who follows her national traditions and holidays.

The major purpose of the author is to attract the reader’s attention and to discuss how a person who had to change everything in life never gave up.  The genre of this literary work  is prose. The essay is written in the form of a memoir, because the author is telling the story of her life from her personal point of view. Suki Kim’s essay attracts the audience of different age and racial groups because the author discusses her personal experiences and certain changes in her personality. The tone of the essay which shows the author’s attitude to her writing is formal, serious, enthusiastic and optimistic.

My emotional response to Suki Kim’s essay is based on my personal attitude to this literary work. I am greatly impressed by Kim’s memoir. It was very interesting for me to learn more about people who never gave up in their life. Suki Kim is a person of strong character who managed to survive physically and emotionally in the new world. Although Suki was an outside at school and faced prejudices and stereotyping, she managed to learn English, get good education and become a good interpreter and writer. I think that such people as Suki Kim deserve respect and admiration. Kim’s essay Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits helps to better understand the world we live in and cope with challenges we face in different real-life situations.


Leave a Reply