Every culture around the world differs in some way or another. There are three cultural differences that specifically differ from that of southern American culture. These three concepts are respecting ones elders from “Or Else, the Lightning God” by Catherine Lim, respect for the dead in “Dead Men’s Path” by Chinua Achebe, and racial equality from “The Day They Burned The Books” by Jean Rhys. “Or Else, the Lightning God” by Catherine Lim is a short story about the feud between a woman and her mother-in-law. The woman is this story has some obvious issues with her mother-in-law and developed a very rude attitude with her. She disrespects her mother-in-law by calling her names, treating her badly, and treating her like a slave. Although in American culture, not all mother and daughter-in-laws see eye to eye, it is more often than not that the daughter-in-law treats the mother-in-law with much deserved respect. The next cultural difference is the lack of respect for the dead that was portrayed in the short story “Dead Men’s Path” by Chinua Achebe. In this story a young and foolish new headmaster came and stirred up controversy with the community elders by closing up the path to their burial site because it happened to pass through the school yard. He did not understand how sacred these paths were and hastily acted before talking things out with the community. In the south, people have immense respect for their dead loved ones.
People spend thousands of dollars to immortalize them with expensive funerals and fancy grave headstones. Many people would be just as upset if someone came and stopped them from visiting the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried. The last cultural difference is that of racial inequality. “The Day They Burned the Books” by Jean Rhys, is a short story about the inequality of race and gender. In this story the dark skinned woman was constantly being disrespected by her husband. His rude comments and actions were most unacceptable. Most people associate the south to be very racist and non-accepting of diversity. However, in the region of northeast Alabama diversity flourishes. There are Hispanic communities as well as African American and Chinese. Racial comments aren’t completely non-existent but; they are far more diminished than they were twenty years ago.