Orphan Train Analysis
For the most part, American history is a story of triumph. Reaching the U.S.A. and achieving the “American Dream” are goals for many people. Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train and the person that it follows portrays the failure of the American dream. Niamh’s story and the tragedy that she faces are tough, but through her hardships she manages to achieve a successful life and find her own “American Dream”. Through the orphan trains, many children like Niamh that would have ended up homeless or dead are given second chances. This is why, in the big picture, the Orphan trains were a good idea and they eventually provided the children with a better life.
Referring to the article A Short History Of The Real Orphan Trains, it tells the stories of the real life experiences of the …show more content…
Niamh’s story begins in a cramped apartment in Manhattan. When a fire breaks out, killing her family. She is left an orphan, and put into the care of the Schatzmann’s , which then put her in the care of Children's Aid. Niamh struggles through multiple foster homes, but she finds a comfortable and safe life. Niamh’s life after the trains is as follows “Vivian and her husband, Jim, owned and ran a department store in Minnesota, and when they sold it twenty years ago, they took a sailing trip up the East Coast to celebrate their retirement. They spied this house, a former ship captain's estate, from the harbor, and on an impulse they decided to buy it. And that was it” (Baker-Kline 51). The life that she finds is much better, and safer than being a homeless child in New York. The Children's Aid Society, and by extension the trains allow her to achieve her own “American Dream”, which was owning the department store in Minnesota, and retiring in Maine. The trains saved her from poverty, and gave her the opportunity of a comfortable, happy