Asian American literature is a child born of uprootedness and transplantation. The pain of dislocation is followed by nostalgia for the lost home, for in many instances there is no more "homeland" one can return to ( The Woman Warrior125). This nostalgia often haunts the psyche and imagination of the exiled like a hungry ghost that refuses to be appeased ( The Woman Warrior19).
The Puritan exodus from England and subsequent entry into America is one example of the journey-quest for the Holy Grail/the New Canaan. Woven into this teleological matrix is a spiritual struggle and a typology consonant with Western metaphysical dualism. The Puritans' journey was not an ordinary sea voyage; it was a spiritual pilgrimage through the sea of faith to fulfill Providence as God's instrument in the unfolding of the grand design and telos of human destiny. Taming the wilderness, therefore, became an external counterpart of the Holy War: conquest of the wilderness and wild men was a struggle between good and evil, the ultimate triumph of "The City of God" over " The City of Man."
Unlike Puritan Americans, the impetus for the Asian exodus-emigration is rooted mainly in economic, political, and social reality. Although Asians also came on a quest for "a New Canaan full of milk and honey," it is a Canaan that exists within an earthly kingdom without Moses. An earthly____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Asian-American Writers. Contributors: Harold Bloom - Editor. Publisher: Chelsea House. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 171.
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