The New Way Of Life And Culture On The Lower East Side 1890-1925 By Elizabeth Ewen

1210 Words Aug 8th, 2014 5 Pages
It goes without saying that all things, miniscule or monumental, are bound to become subject of change. Change can be caused by a number of things, but for the women who’s tales were recanted in Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars: Life and Culture on the Lower East Side 1890-1925 written by Elizabeth Ewen, change was especially imminent as they were forced to exchange the “old ways” of their native countries for the “new ways” of America. Immigrant women’s lives were completely altered, as they had to adjust to American culture in an innumerable amount of ways; they specifically saw change in how they perceived leisure and luxury, their views on marriage and roles as wives, and also their expectations as daughters.
The first, and possibly the most superficial though not unimportant, alteration in immigrant women’s lives when coming to America is how their idea of leisure and luxury had been changed. It is no secret that many immigrants were lured to America by the idea of independence and wealth. However, immigrants quickly found that a life of leisure and luxury did not come easily. In fact, as the title of the book suggests, most immigrant women found themselves living in tenement neighborhoods on the lower East Side of Manhattan. The Lower East Side, while immensely family oriented, was poverty stricken, enclosed, and bore a striking contrast to the Upper East side which was home to wealth with “ stately building, gorgeous carriages, and wonderfully dressed men,…

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