America and I by Anzia Yezierska

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The novel America and I by Anzia Yezierska is a highly-recommended read for anyone interested in world history or contemporary culture. It focuses on the cosmopolitan and optimistic conception of America, as well as the gloomy experience of coming from Russia to the United States. The narrator, Yezierska, begins the novel by begging for sympathy and hopes to become a part of America.

cosmopolitan conc
eption of America
A cosmopolitan conception of America recognizes the value of cultural attachments within the confines of national self-determination. Despite this, it rejects the idea that the cultural resources of a nation should be viewed as homogenous and insular. Instead, cosmopolitanism posits that Americans should be proud of the diversity of their people, not of their national identity. Thus, the ideal cosmopolitan life is not necessarily flat, boring, or devoid of love.

gloomy feeling of coming from Russia to America
The nineteen-seventies were the darkest years for emigration from the U.S.S.R. It was hard for people to flee the country for many reasons, not the least of which were political persecution and conscription. People were also afraid of a new, unknown country, and the sense of immorality of remaining in a war zone. In addition, if they stay, they may face the possibility that their beloved Russia will disappear, or they may die there.

narrator’s begging for sympathy
“America and I” is a short story by Anzia Yezierska, first published in 1922. This work addresses a number of themes, including the plight of immigrants and the nature of the American dream. The story follows a young female immigrant who has high expectations for herself and struggles to find her place in America’s culture. The narrator is one of those immigrants.

narrator’s dream to become a part of America
The story starts in a rural African village where the narrator finds himself yearning for the American Dream. This dream is uncomfortable for him, but he can’t seem to let go of his own heritage. Through his writing, he discovers how to become a part of the new American culture while maintaining his heritage. Although this dream is an important part of the story, it may not be the most satisfying.

narrator’s journey to find her voice
In “America and I,” Yezierska’s narrator tries to define what it means to be an American, despite her own fears. The novel is told from the narrator’s first-person point of view. Through her narrative, we get to know the hope and dream she had for America before she came to the country, and her disappointment and frustration with her experiences in America.

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