Now that there is an established definition within context, parts of “Bread Giver’s” will be pointed out to display how Sara Smolinsky’s actions show her reinventing herself.
During the early nineteenth century, families of immigrants undergo assimilation to unite themselves in American customs. The ideology that they will be accepted into a society and embrace American identities has driven them to this process. A reality of upward mobility and freedom are highly desired for immigrants’ transition. One author who portrays the temptation of this “New World” America for the Jewish children arriving and having their lives greatly affected is Anzia Yezierska’s “Bread Givers” while focusing on the truth of forming an American identity. An autobiography written by Mary Antin “The Promised Land” incorporates the accuracy of family assimilation and its outcome on the identity of their children is shaped by American meritocracy
In Out of This Furnace, author Thomas Bell portrays the historic stories of Slovakian immigrants who migrate to the United States with the dream of becoming a millionaire or trying to escape the oppression in their old country (Bell, 1). The novel illustrates the struggles of three generation of Slovakian immigrants in America enduring poverty, discrimination, exploitation by employers, as well as the development of labor unions. As the story progresses, the novel provides a glimpse of diverse sets of perspectives from Kracha, Mike, and finally Dobie. In examining the character Dobie, his participation in civic labor unions, and in search of his own true identity reveals the more liberal and outspoken new generation of immigrants.
Bread Givers tells the story of Sara Smolinsky, whose life is almost the same as Anzia Yezierska, who is the author. Through Sara we see the collapse of a family because of religion and old world ways. Sara tries so hard to get away from her past but in the end it shows that your family will always be there, for good or bad.
The transfer of culture from one generation to another becomes practically difficult when the culture that one brings from his/her homeland becomes seemingly inappropriate in the new home. This was true for Japanese Immigrants also. As the Issei grew older, much of the culture that they brought with them from Japan died. With the passage of time, values changed as generational succession took place. As a result of new attitude the new generations found an easy way towards assimilation and acculturation. Expectations that the oldest son would be in charge of the farm and take care of elders, that
Anzia Yezierska’s 1925 novel Bread Givers ends with Sara Smolinsky’s realization that her father’s tyrannical behavior is the product of generations of tradition from which he is unable to escape. Despite her desire to embrace the New World she has just won her place in, she attempts to reconcile with her father and her Jewish heritage. The novel is about the tension inherent in trying to fit Old and New worlds together: Reb tries to make his Old World fit into the new, while Sara tries to make her New World fit into the Old. Sara does not want to end up bitter and miserable like her sisters, but she does not want to throw her family away all together. Her struggle is one of trying to convince her patriarchal family to accept her as an
The feeling of anxiety is one that transcends the many categories that society organizes us in; it is a feeling impartial to race, gender, or class. Anzia Yezierska, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, dealt with issues ranging from extreme poverty to the guilt she felt for abandoning tradition. In her book “Bread Givers” she exemplifies what she went through when she writes: “It wasn’t just my father, but the generations who made my father whose weight was still upon me” (297). Similarly to what Yezierska felt growing up, the main character and narrator, Sara Smolinsky, expresses similar anxieties about tradition and poverty. Through the fictional characters, Yezierska informs the reader what
In an interview with Yerierska’s daughter, Louise Levitas Henriksen, she depicts her mother as writing each of her works as a homage to herself—within each work one can find a piece of what Yerierska’s life was like. However, within the fictional autobiography, readers may find that Bread Givers was a picture of the immigrant life that is beyond the scope of traditional textbooks. The novel journeys through the conflict of traditional household views of a Jewish family and the zeal to find independence from the second-generation immigrants. It not only shows the tangible effects of being the working class during that time, but was meant to show the affects or growth of a family and individuals because of it. Most importantly, the novel was written to show the change in mindset, thought, and wishes of the immigrants coming in. In Alice Kessler-Harris’
In addition, discrimination has been seen throughout the centuries which has become something we still deal with. As a matter of fact, immigrants get treated differently usually because of their skin color or the language they speak. “Affiliations along with physical characteristics, accents, and other linguistic traits that society has associated with certain racial/ethnic identities serve as constant reminders of how of how individuals are perceived and thus how they see themselves” (Yarbrough). This can harm mentally because of them experiencing some type of rejection. Most can feel ashamed of where they come from and will try fit in by letting go of their culture. What I mean is that they will change by trying to be more “American” only that they have
I interviewed my uncle who is a 1.5 generation immigrant. He immigrated to the United States at the age of eleven, along with a few of his siblings and parents. To preserve his identity, I will use the pseudonym, Jose. Jose is from a small town called El Cerrito Colorado in Jalisco, Mexico. Learning English for Jose has been an ongoing struggle that he has been continuously working on. His experience moving to the Unites States and living here would be considered selective assimilation because in spite of the burden it has been for him to learn English, he has been able to become successful and gain a great education.
I agree with Rodriguez’s claim regarding assimilation due to the environmental influences on people. Immigrant are becoming a symbol of America. What it means to become an American is less about who you are than what you’re about. It’s about how you live your life and how you contribute to this country. Those who are flexible in adjusting to America will blend American ideas and values with their own culture.
Race creates enough tension, that even in today’s society, there are divisions between longtime friends. The short story, “Recitatif”, about the divisions of race, between two childhood friends over their lifetime is written by Toni Morris. In the story, Twyla and Roberta are different from the other orphans because their parents are still alive. Roberta’s ever-changing attitude towards Twyla because of her race drastically changes Twyla's attitudes and values momentarily throughout the story.
Assimilation is where a person or a group of people spend certain amount of time within a certain area and follows their way of life. Dr. Huntington’s fear is that majority or all Mexican immigrants would not only slow or stop assimilating to U.S.’ way of life as a country that accepts and welcomes immigrants from all walks of life. According to Griswold (2005),
Referred to as the “Cinderella of the Tenements,” Anzia Yezierska (est.1880-1970) is best known for writing about Jewish immigrants, specifically women, and the challenges they faced assimilating to life in the United States. An immigrant herself, Yezierska and her family moved to the United States to escape Eastern Europe’s poverty, and rising antisemitic attitudes. She ultimately chose a career in writing, and published several short stories and novels (Kent 144). Yezierska’s most popular novel Bread Givers, published in 1925, is generally viewed as the earliest example of Jewish immigrant writing in cultural studies because the novel “engages in an intertextual dialogue with Modernist writers of the period” (Kent 146). While literature scholars Lisa Botshon and Meredith Goldsmith acknowledge that the modernist era “is often defined as the high culture of edgy literary experimentation and the low culture of dime-store novels,” they bring attention to some modernist American women writers from the 1920s because they are often dismissed from the literary movement. Typically attributed as a White and Protestant literary phenomenon, many of the 1920s middlebrow writers actually came from a diverse set of backgrounds, which allowed them to participate in the cultural debate – domesticity, marriage, assimilation, and capitalism – through writing. Yezierska engages in these topics in her short stories and in Bread Givers. In this bildungsroman, the first person narrator’s
This shows the three aspects that form the type of assimilation process that immigrants and international students undergo. The society that they come from, in correlation with their reasons for migrating and the society that greets them all come together to determine the degree of ease of integration for individuals. While the factors differ for each individual, most legal immigrants and international students are able to take advantage of many different opportunities to help them integrate easier and begin a prosperous life in America.