Publication Date



Charles Barber


College of Letters


English (United States)


I must admit that I have a habit of lying to myself. I do it because I believe myself to be an optimist. Other than that, I don't really know who I am or where I belong—I have lived all my life in Korea but English is my only fluent language and I desperately want to move to Italy. Of course I have wondered from time to time why I have turned out this way, but I have never pursued the answer to completion. This year, I resolved to actually sit myself down and guess at what my various motivations must have been. The title Non so la ragione, ma voglio trovarla (and its Korean counterpart) reflect the baffled sentiment of wanting to discover what I have no words to explain. I attempt to answer the following two questions: How does language function as a medium of self expression? How does one come to terms with the issue of multiple cultural identities? My quest for answers is creatively told through a succession of six interviews with Korean and Italian immigrants to the United States. Each of the six chapters contains the life experience of one interviewee and my reflection on what I have learned from the interview, as well as what I hope to uncover next. There is a fair share of melancholy content throughout, but ultimately, it is a narrative of hope. After all, I believe myself to be an optimist.



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