AN ENGLISH PAPER - Hassett-1 Brianna Hassett Professor...

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Brianna Hassett Professor Railton Writing II Due: May 3, 2007 Ellis Island and Angel Island: the Passage to a Better Life? America is known as the land of opportunity; the land of prosperity; the land of freedom; the land where anything was said to be possible. Most however learned quickly that the land that was guaranteed to make a poor man rich was quick to go back on it’s word. Most Immigrants coming to America were looking for an opportunity to better themselves and their family. Immigrants quickly learned that the fight for acceptance in America would be easier for some and much more difficult for others. The process of coming to America was different for those coming from either Asia by Angel Island or Europe by Ellis Island. Though both had its share of unjust and bias practices, it is understood that those coming from the West Cost had a more severe and intense process of coming to America. Many Europeans and Asians would be dumbfounded by claims fellow towns men would share about living a luxurious lifestyle in the “Land of Opportunity”. The thought of living well off, or even just better than the life in their hometown was an instant lure to pack up and leave. Although it is true that some did become successful, more often that not tall tales and false truths were stretched above and beyond to glorify the move from Hassett-1
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the homeland to America. In one passage, a Chinese immigrant recalled, “The man had gone away from our village a poor boy. Now he returned with unlimited wealth, which he had obtained in the country of the American wizards. After many amazing adventures, he had become a merchant in a city called Mott Street, so it was said” (Gjerde, 172). In this one recollection, it is understandable why so many would consider leaving in order to have a chance for the better life in the United States. Obviously if there was no attraction, no one would have moved to America, however, many parts of the story would be left out and immigrants would find the struggles almost too much to bear, wondering if it was actually worth the stress of the move. People by the masses would come by boat to Ellis Island or Angel Island, both being the two major gateways to America. Using most or all of a person’s life savings for a one way ticket to the freedom land made the situation a “do or die” decision. There was no turning back in most cases and failure in the new country was not only incomprehensive, it was not acceptable. After enduring a long and draining way across the seas, immigrants would be surrounded by energy and symbols of their new home once arriving in the United States. Though it seemed like the worst was over, it unfortunately was just the beginning. The long and detailed process into America was only just starting. Ellis Island, the most popular and well known immigration checkpoint was
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course MANY 000 taught by Professor Many during the Spring '08 term at Fitchburg.

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AN ENGLISH PAPER - Hassett-1 Brianna Hassett Professor...

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