Teacher’s Guide

Identity, Confinement, and Love: Reflecting with the Bodhisattva – Yuka Hayashi

Essay Category: Analysis

Identity, Confinement, and Love: Reflecting with the Bodhisattva is an emotive and reflective narrative on the Bodhisattva and ways in which the Bodhisattva connects to the author’s identity. This student was assigned the task of visiting the Museum of Fine Arts to write about an artwork they personally resonated with, as part of a Literature and Biology Core Renewal Class. 

This essay is emotionally strong and reflective in its subject matter and analysis. The author connects her identity as an immigrant to America with commentary on Western cultural standards and forced assimilation. This essay aptly connects personal stories with objects of cultural relevance to tell a larger story. Some areas of the piece could use further development, but this can be accomplished by more extensive editing and teasing out aspects of the personal story.

Emotive thoughtfulness and a connection to the author’s story, thereby making the piece more relatable, is evident here when the author writes: “What is the role of this Bodhisattva if it cannot achieve its purpose? Caged up in a glass enclosure far away from its homeland and its people? Similarly, like the first time I entered the gallery, I desperately wanted to scream, “Why are you here?” I also felt a personal attachment, pity, and anger towards this Bodhisattva. Its shortened arms triggered memories of forceful assimilation to foreign cultures when I moved to Singapore at age 5, returned to Japan in 7th grade, and now, in my decision to navigate the U.S. as a Boston College student.”

What Assignments to Use Essay For:

  • Narrative
  • Cultural Analysis
  • Creative Writing
  • Family