JJHS - wages The conversational language of the narrator...

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Ivan Ivanov America and I Yezierska, the narrator of "America and I," emigrated from Russia to the U.S. in search of freedom and new colors in the black and white life of the new world. Liker her, many other immigrants came for different reasons, some to escape wars, religious persecution, poverty, etc; but little did they know about the great mysteries that lay ahead of them. They will have to face the challenges of learning the English language and finding shelter and work, many of them were not prepared for this so they ended up in the dark but ethnically mixed ghettos, where they would have to crowd up with each other. Those who were uneducated, unskilled, or financially insecure, had to work to in unimaginable places like the damp and gloomy sweatshops; where they had to work long and painful hours for low
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Unformatted text preview: wages. The conversational language of the narrator contributes to Yezierska's "voicing" of her life in the shirt story. By looking at certain areas, you can see an evident contrast. In the first area, all she does is give monologue about her "day after day" on at the sweatshop. In the second part, "her hands are up in the air" she says that "Dead buttons is not me"; she basically defines herself as a person who wants to experience the immigrant's "American Dream", instead of working as a laborer. She uses this contrast so you can see her world through her eyes, not just as a reader, but as her; you can then fully understand the pains of her life, it's not just working in the same back-watered town's sweatshop that hurt her, but the fact that she cannot "live", because she feels suffocated by her advantages....
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