Monday, 2 March 2015

Anzia Yezierska Short Stories - Moral Teachings fromImmigration

'The Beautifulness' & Soap and Water

The Beautifullness short story captivates the lifestyle poor immigrants had to endure in the urban ghettos of New York City during the early 20th century. The protagonist, Hannah; a deeply maternal individual, who's 'American Dream' of owning a white-washed kitchen , is established and then destroyed. Because of her self restraint to indulge and conviction to save money , Hannah is able to create her 'dream kitchen' ; a symbolism of her commitment to her son Aby (to whom she wishes to donate her efforts) . However, after upgrading her flat, the landlord imposes an increase on the rent. The issue that arises from this situation is that Hannah has portrayed how financially restricting conditionw , e.g. "there used to be a time when poor people could eat cheap things ....potatoes, rice, fish even dry bread is dear" repress the poor and allow for the exploitation of hard working individual for the means of others,these in the impoverish area the "The Dogs! The Blood sucking Landlords! They are the new Tsars of America" . The autocratic power of these individuals are important in representing of the problems faced by poor immigrants that they can compare the evils of their old and corrupt land to that of villains in the new land of opportunity. As a individual of direction, hannahs refusal to accept chaity, maintains the traditional American work ethic, however, here rejection of aide, places her in even worse standing ,that utlimatley leads to her self-destructive behaviour in running the kitchen. The conclusion is that she is emotionally and financially broken. The moral teaching; pride before the fall.

Soap and Water. Is the story of a Russian immigrant women, who maintains an ambition of achieving a college degree and bettering herself into a higher tier of society. The overall message of the tale is to  establish  a comparative picture of the lives between hardworking , impoverish immigrants and the upper classes, or more precisely the class of women that she wishes to be but not become e.g. Dean, Classmates.. The main comparative focus is on the 'appearance' of an individual. In a land that traditionally is meant to provide equality and opportunity, Yezierska's protagonist receives neither, even with a completed college degree, as a women, as an immigrant in 1920s America. The restricted opportunities create a environment (hard working, long hours manual labour.)  for the individual that mean she cannot accomplish her goals, as the prejudices she must face from authorities people about her appearance rank her inferior; regardless of her intellect. This is an example about how those in disadvantaged circumstances, must overcome and endure, and self-assimilate themselves , without financial means into an 'American Society' in order to prosper.

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