By M. E. Ravage
M.E. Ravage, one in every of virtually million Jews, used to be lured by way of stories of luck to the United States on the flip of the 20 th century. After studying a brand new language and discovering luck in collage he penned a bright account of his personal assimilation. Steven G. Kellman brings Ravage's tale to existence back during this re-creation, supplying a short biography and historic and literary contexts. An American within the Making contributes to an figuring out of the inspiration of ""America"" and is still well timed, in particular while enormous immigration from Latin the US and Asia, demanding situations principles of nationwide identification.
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Additional resources for An American in the Making: The Life Story of an Immigrant (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas (Mela))
We have had to subdue this new home of ours to make it habitable, and in conquering it we have conquered ourselves. We are not what we were when you saw us landing from the Ellis Island ferry. Our own kinsfolk do not know us when they come over. We sometimes hardly know ourselves. pa rt one The Alien at Home chapter i The Prophet from America E ven an imaginative American, I suppose, must find it very hard to form anything like a just idea of the tremendous adventure involved in the act of immigration.
The geography of the place was even more surprising, since by all accounts New York stood exactly beneath Vaslui, “on the under side of the earth,” and that would seem to mean that the inhabitants walked head downward like flies on the ceiling. It was regrettable that we had learned this only after Couza had gone, or we might have asked him to explain how it was managed. We might also have been told in an authoritative way whether it was true that in New York the railways ran over the roofs of houses, that the dwellings were so large that one of them was sufficient to house an entire town in Rumania, that all the food was sold in sealed metal packages, that the water came up into people’s homes without having to be carried, and that no one, not even a shoemaker, went to the temple on Saturdays without wearing a stovepipe hat.
And I was only a child of sixteen, and I longed for the great world with its rich prizes and its still richer adventures. My soul was thrilled with the dream of conquest and the pious hope of delivering my family from want and oppression. But while all this is true, it was not the whole truth. In fact, I quite omitted from my account the most vital, because it was the most direct, cause of my migration. The remainder of the truth is that in the year of my departure from Vaslui America had become, as it were, the fashionable place to go to.
An American in the Making: The Life Story of an Immigrant (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas (Mela)) by M. E. Ravage