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America: Dream or Delusion and the Men behind it - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class 28 August 2012 America: Dream or Delusion, and the Men behind It The American Dream in the twentieth century conjures images of wealth, equal access to opportunities, and a solid college education. Migrants to the United States often fled from social inequality and prosecution in their countries…
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America: Dream or Delusion and the Men behind it
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Download file to see previous pages Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban and Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers are two novels about migration, nostalgia, and the American Dream. Its female characters want to find happiness in a nation, where social status and gender are flexible concepts. Unfortunately, the greatest hindrances in their lives are their male family members. Both novels, Bread Givers and Dreaming in Cuban, depict that many women immigrants in America struggle in finding happiness through the fulfillment of their dreams because of the ongoing conflict with Old World men in their lives. This essay describes the characters and settings of these novels first. The women of Dreaming in Cuban are Celia, Lourdes, Felicia and Pilar. Celia is the grandmother and matriarch of the family in Cuba. Lourdes is her firstborn, who brought sadness and anger to her, because she leaves Cuba. Felicia is the daughter, who became “insane.” Pilar is the exiled daughter of Lourdes, who felt her grandmother’s presence all her life. The women of Bread Givers are Mrs. Smolinsky, Bessie, Mashah, Fania, and Sara. Mrs. Smolinsky is the mother and a good example of the submissive wife. She is also the “bread winner” of the family. Bessie, Mashah, and Fania are the older daughters, who settled for living an unhappy married life. Sara is the youngest, and she is energetic and outspoken. The men of these novels affected these women’s identities, experiences, and destinies. The men of Dreaming in Cuban are Jorge, Gustavo, Rufino and Hugo. Jorge is the husband of Celia, who leaves her behind, while they still lived in Cuba. Gustavo is Celia’s first unrequited love. Rufino is Lourdes’ lazy husband and Pilar’s cheating father. Hugo is Felicia’s hateful first husband. The men of Bread Givers are Reb Smolinsky, Berel, Jacob, Morris and Hugo. Reb Smolinsky is the religious non-working husband and father of the Smolinsky family. Berel, Jacob and Morris are the men, who initially wanted to marry the older daughters, but were scared away by their father. The setting of Dreaming in Cuban is in Cuba, and it spans pre, during, and post-Cuban Revolution. New York City in the 1920s is also the time frame for Bread Givers, while it is the 1970s for Dreaming in Cuban. The idea of the American Dream attracts migrants to America because it promises social equality and material wealth. America signifies freedom and choice, freedom of religion, and education for everyone, including women. My grandfather worked hard to provide for his seven children. Many of my uncles and aunts finished college, because they know that a college education is critical to their success in the New World. For the female characters of Bread Givers and Dreaming in Cuban, they dream of escaping their social status through “upward mobility” too (Renny 80). They are aware that education is key to their success, although not all of the female characters finished college. America also offers the opportunity to attain freedom from poverty. Hunger for food is one of the dominant motifs in Bread Givers. Sara complains about her stomach, as she works hard to improve her socioeconomic conditions: “I hated my stomach. It was like some clawing animal in me that I had to stop to feed always” (Yezierska 173). This feeling of hunger is not a physiological kind of hunger alone, however, but more of an inner sense of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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