The Impossible American Dream Essay

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The Impossible American Dream in Anzia Yezierska's “America and I,” Uncle and Jayanti from Chitra Divakaruni's “Silver Pavements, Golden Roofs,” and Leon from Fae Myenne Ng's Bone. America has always been characterized as the land of dreams and opportunities. Immigrants entering America took these characterizations to heart. The dreams and aspirations of stable, wealthy, and happy lives in America became known as the “American Dream”. However, the…show more content…
But it is also evident how their lives could have been different if Jay's suggestion is taken into account. The first example of the negativity of the “American Dream” is in the unnamed narrator of Anzia Yezierska's story “America and I.” The narrator immigrates from Russia to America full of dreams and desires. She says, “America was a land of living hope, woven of dreams, aflame with longing and desire” (Yezierska 1970). For the narrator, America represents the ideal place to live, where everyone's dreams can come true. She believes that “in America everybody works for love. Nobody has to worry for a living” (Yezierska 1974). The narrator quickly finds out that life in America is not about working for love. Despite having hope that the former Russian immigrants that she is working for will treat her well, her very first job ends with her receiving no wages for her hard work. The narrator's second job is no better, with endless hours, little rest, and even less money. She is confused and cannot seem to discover herself and her place in an America that is so different than her dream. She laments, “Who am I? What am I? What do I want with my life? Where is America? Is there an America? What is this wilderness in which I'm lost?” (Yezierska 1972). She yearns for a way to express herself but has no way to communicate her needs. The narrator's conversation at the vocational center becomes a sad commentary on the negativity of the
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