Assimilation In No Telephone To Heaven

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The classic immigrant story; A person immigrates from their mother country to the U.S. with nothing but the clothing on their back and an insatiable craving for the American dream. They work hard at tedious, entry-level jobs with minimal pay and eventually clamber their way out of obscurity and poverty, through sheer will and hard labor, to become a true American. This narrative has been spun a thousand times and will be spun a thousand times more in the future and for a good reason. This is a common literary trope that holds true for many immigrants, but the question is how? How are transnational immigrants able to succeed in America? Michelle Cliff’s novel No Telephone to Heaven explains that this success comes at a great cost. To be successful in immigrating to America, you must abandon all aspects of your mother country and create a new self-identity. This price of accepting or rejecting a totalitarian-like form of assimilation is highlighted by three protagonists in the novel, Boy, Kitty, and Clare Savage. In the novel, the Savage family immigrates to America due to Boy Savage, a light complexioned, white passing man who is the father of the Savage family, and his inability to pay his debts in Jamaica. This is much to the discontent of Kitty Savage, a darker complexioned woman who is the mother of the Savage clan. They take their two daughters, Clare, our main protagonist who looks like her father, and Jennie, who looks similar to her mother, and head to New York. The

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