Immigration Essay Introduction

Immigration Essay Introduction-39
One simple answer is that many people were driven from, or decided to leave, their countries of origin either for economic reasons (they lived in poverty or could see no future for themselves at home) or because of political, religious and/or racial persecution. [In the following essay, Lane examines the history and diversity of literature written by authors who immigrated to the United States, focusing on the unique ethnic attributes and perspectives that the various immigrant groups have brought to the body of American literature.] OVERVIEW OF THE LITERATURE OF THE U. IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE A basic question needs to be asked at the outset: why did so many people emigrate to the Unites States of America?Another fact was that many jobs waited for people in the rapidly expanding industries.

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that is the central fact about housing in the industrial areas: not that the houses are poky and ugly, and insanitary and comfortless, or that they are distributed in incredibly filthy slums around belching foundries and stinking canals and slag-heaps that deluge them with sulphurous smoke …

but simply that there are not enough houses to go round.” Industrialization in European countries may have lead to higher wages, but not necessarily an improved standard of living; in Britain, for example, the various Enclosures Acts meant that many people were forced from the land into the cities and it was this loss of lifestyle that lead to deprivation; even in the previous poverty of rural life, access to freshly grown food or illegally hunted game, for example, was sometimes to be had.

For example, the adoption of, or learning about, an American way of life may also involve the painful and disturbing dismantling of earlier modes of existence.

That is not to say that such a ‘dismantling’ does not take place in the standard autobiography or bildungsroman, rather that it is a profoundly important component of the immigrant narratives, which focus not so much upon the construction of identity as the reconstruction of identity.

The industries of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century America needed a vast labor force who would work for relatively low wages (although these wages need to be put into the context of lands left behind, where poverty and even lower incomes were often the norm).

Immigrant Experience.” In Contemporary Literary Criticism, vol. America is a land of immigrants: they are the driving force of the economy, bringing intense ambition, a hunger to better oneself, a willingness to work, and most of all a relentless self-motivation that can be expressed in diverse ways, from the results of raw labor to those of education and cultural expression.

The psychology of emigration from one's ancient homeland is complex: decisions may be based upon a mixture of fact and fiction.

One fact was that the cost of travel to the US decreased significantly during the period of the Great Migration.

The immigrant experience was not entirely one of negative impetus and reasoning.

Another basic question needs to be asked: what were the positive reasons for coming to America?


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