Anzia realizes that her lack of English language capabilities will continue to prevent her from becoming Americanized, and she attends an English class for foreigners held at the factory. Anzia shares her frustrations of not being able to communicate her thoughts and feelings to her instructor, who advises Anzia to stay the course and learn English, which will be the solution to the problem.
She works long hours in a sweatshop but still earns only enough money to provide herself the barest of sustenance. Yezierska experiences another, equally devastating sort of poverty: poverty of the soul. She craves a job that will allow her to share her inner thoughts and feelings. By becoming a writer, Yezierska is able to fulfill her physical and emotional needs and to work her way out of the impoverishment that continues to entrap so many of her fellow immigrants.
Immigration and Cultural Diversity Throughout its history, the United States has drawn immigrants from around the world with its promise of freedom from religious, political, and economic persecution. From its earliest settlements in the late s and early s, people have come to America seeking a new life. The French and the Dutch first came to North America to earn money from trade.
The Pilgrims came to present-day Massachusetts to find the freedom to practice their religion. Other early English settlers were drawn by the promise of obtaining their own land. For example, the state of Georgia was chartered in as a colony where poor English citizens, such as those who had been jailed for debt, could start a new life.
The generation of immigrants of which Yezierska was a part is no exception. Yezierska and people like her came to escape a country where they were discriminated against socially and economically because of their religion. Explain your answer. Research political and societal conditions in Russia that caused so many Jews to immigrate to the United States. Yezierska has been criticized for her overwrought language and style. Comment of the last paragraph of the story.
The essence that defines Yezierska arose from a background incomprehensible to the people she meets in New York, a background based on discrimination and drudgery, on fear of sudden violence, and on a system of erratic injustice. In Russia, Jewish people had no choice to become what they really wanted to be. Through her writing, Yezierska helps to bridge that gap and helps to shape the ever-changing culture of America.
Charity In the early s, many charitable institutions had formed to help immigrants acclimate to their new lives and assimilate into American culture. In many instances, the cultural groups themselves formed organizations that would provide such services.
She learns to read and write English through a class offered at the factory where she is employed. However, how much these charities benefit Yezierska is suspect.
When Yezierska tells the guidance counselor that she wants to let out her creative spirit, the counselor responds with a suggestion focusing on how Yezierska should design shirtwaists instead of sewing them, which will earn her more money. For a time, Yezierska feels that America owes her something.
They got grand houses with sunshine, fresh air, doctors and teachers, even for the crazy ones. However, Yezierska comes to realize that she needs to rely on herself— not charitable associations, Americanized immigrants, or employers.
Once she starts to do so, she is able to achieve her dreams and to find America in helping to create it. Yezierska presents her own experiences of arrival in a new country: the search for work, the inability to communicate, the feelings of not being welcomed.
Yezierska shares with the reader all the thoughts and feelings she goes through during the course of the story. This point of view gives the reader a more personal connection with the author.
For example, because Yezierska explains the hopes that she held for America before her arrival, the reader is able to understand the true depth of her disappointment and disillusionment.
Aside from the detail that the sweatshop is located in a dark basement, she does not provide a composite that would help the reader see the reality of the sweatshop, such as the unsafe, unhealthy working conditions that characterized such places. Historical Context Immigrants in the s Between and , around twelve million immigrants arrived in the United States.
Unlike the wave of immigrants the United States had seen in the mids, the majority of these so-called new immigrants came from countries in southern or eastern Europe. Most of the Jewish families fled their homelands to escape religious or political persecution, whereas other immigrants sought improved economic opportunities.
Hundreds of thousands then settled in New York City, where they often lived in slums and crowded, unhealthy apartments.
Slum streets were often piled high with garbage and raw sewage, and the slums usually were located right next to polluted industrial areas. The life of immigrants in the United States was filled with other hardships. They often were only able to obtain low-paying, unskilled jobs.
Some worked as many as fifteen hours a day simply to support their families. Education was seen as the key to improving these circumstances, so many adult immigrants attended English classes at night; children often attended public schools. The children of immigrants often became Americanized more quickly than their parents, speaking English and adopting American habits.
Immigrants could buy kosher meats and other Jewish delicacies, attend a Jewish theater that gave performances in Yiddish, and read a newspaper published in Yiddish. Many Jews faced discrimination; for example, some employers refused to hire Jews. Some Jewish immigrants responded by trying to assimilate into American culture. Among other measures, they adopted American clothing or worked on the Sabbath Saturday. Other Jews, however, clung to the traditions of their former life, particularly their religious rituals and their habits of spending the majority of time studying the Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament.
Urban Reform in the s and s As the cities became increasingly crowded, city officials found themselves unable to keep up with demands for housing and social services. As a result, thousands of families lived in unsafe, unsanitary conditions. The drive to reform the cities began in the early s, and these problems were addressed in a number of ways.
For example, New York passed a law in that greatly improved new tenement buildings. Other reformers led a campaign to provide children with safe places to play, and by cities had spent millions of dollars building playgrounds. A city-planning movement also grew with the goal of halting the spread of slums and beautifying the city.
City planners controlled and regulated city growth, created safer building codes, and developed public parkland. Civil engineers improved city transportation and paved the streets. Such rapid success is, to my friend, mind-boggling! She ended up earning a scholarship to Columbia University and was later involved in a romantic relationship with Columbia professor John Dewey.
The clip runs 31 minutes. You can follow along here. Listen to the podcast:. Immigrants today still equate the country they are immigrating to with the Promised Land or the land of milk and honey. While many times this Promised Land dream comes true, other times the reality is much different than the dream. Immigration is not always a perfect journey.
There are many reasons why families immigrate and there are perception differences about immigration and the New World that create difficulties and often separate generations in the immigrating family Religious and racial intolerance, social upheaval, economic hardship, and political turmoil underscore the causes of emigration, but the New world was far from idyllic, and traces of these scourges checkered the landscape of the New World as well as the Mother land Her father, an Orthodox rabbi, is stuck in the traditions of the old world and will not tolerate Sara's longing for independence.
This novel takes place in New York's Lower East Side, where the population mainly consists of Jewish immigrants who have come to America in hopes of living a better life than they lived in the shtetls. In America, for the family's who still lived by the traditions of the old world, life for the women was no different that life in the shtetls One of the significant features of Jewish history throughout many centuries was migration.
From the ancient pre-Roman times to medieval Spain to the present days the Jews were expelled from the countries they populated, were forced out by political, cultural and religious persecution, and sometimes were motivated to leave simply to escape economic hardship and to find better life for themselves and for their children. One of the interesting pages of Jewish history was a massive migration from Eastern Europe to America in the period between an Research revealed several different findings among family values, the way things were done and are now done, and the different kinds of old and new world struggles.
In Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers, Sara and her father have different opinions of what the daughters' role should be. Sara believed that she should be able to choose what her life will be, because it is her life Throughout the story, one learns about the hardships of living in poverty, the unjust treatment of women, and the growth of a very strong willed and determined young woman—Sara Smolinsky.
After leaving Poland to venture out into the New World of America, the Smolinsky family endured impoverished lifestyles and countless hardships Although women were still not on the same level of power as men in America, when women began to actually make social and political advancements in the early 20th century, their newfound liberty exceeded the independence that women of Old World cultures received and this if evident in the book Breadgivers Anna Yezierska Although the female protagonists in both Bread Givers and Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy come from different backgrounds, both women struggle to break away from the traditional role of Jewish women.
From the Old World, Yentl, from Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy, was blessed to have a father that encouraged her education but a society that did not Throughout the history of the United States of America different governing method, different presidents have tried to create a society that is ideal in having equality and justice for all. Good society depends on good governance meaning reliability, predictability and accountability of the government.
The government from the s to present has tried to promote good society through equality and justice for all people in the country
Yezierska shares with the reader all the thoughts and feelings she goes through during the course of the story. They are motivated by greed and will use whatever means to gain their profit. Covering the period from through , the author traces the path of the immigrants from impoverished peasants in Eastern Europe to factory, mills, and mines in America. Although they will not tell her how much she will be paid, she works hard for the family, grateful to have the chance to live with Americans and start to learn English. People who have not been able to achieve this dream based on restrictions of their situations that plague their lives.
In , 1, women held offices in the state legislatures and sixty-five women served in Congress. For example, the state of Georgia was chartered in as a colony where poor English citizens, such as those who had been jailed for debt, could start a new life. Other states limit the employment of older children to eight to ten hours a day or bar them from working at night or in dangerous conditions. Throughout the story, one learns about the hardships of living in poverty, the unjust treatment of women, and the growth of a very strong willed and determined young woman—Sara Smolinsky.
Research revealed several different findings among family values, the way things were done and are now done, and the different kinds of old and new world struggles. The old woman who runs the shop demands that the women work longer hours. They wanted to lose themselves and find America" Gale Database 8.
When Yezierska asks them for her wages, they tell her that she should be paying them for the opportunities they are giving her; without knowing English, she is worthless.
Sara believed that she should be able to choose what her life will be, because it is her life The tenement was home to nearly 7, immigrants. The majority of immigrants come from Asia and Mexico. English Teacher Yezierska takes a class at the factory where she works.
She moved to California for a second time, but realizing that she could not write away from home, she returned to New York within the year.
However, discovering that she was not suited to married life, she moved to California with her daughter in There are two types of arrange marriages. For the Americans, she hopes they open their arms, ready to fully take in these immigrant treasures. One of the interesting pages of Jewish history was a massive migration from Eastern Europe to America in the period between an It was here that past values and present realities were reconciled, examined on an intelligible scale, evaluated and mediated.
Education was seen as the key to improving these circumstances, so many adult immigrants attended English classes at night; children often attended public schools. She continued to write but did not publish anything until , when her autobiographical novel Red Ribbon on a White Horse came out. In fact, they demean her and shame her for even believing that she is entitled to her own time and her own wages.