Theme Of Imperialism In The West Side Story

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The U.S plays a massive role on the immigration of people from southern nations in the 1900s. The typical behavior toward immigrants is strange because on one hand Business owners embrace them into jobs that Americans wouldn’t want to do such as blue collar occupations. Then there are Americans who simply despise these people and their traditions so they target them with help of the government system. In the film of West Side Story, it arguably portrays the ideas of race, immigration, and U.S imperialism in the 1960s. Therefore, the time period within the film illustrates New York with a large number of Puerto Ricans so the film can be historical source. In fact, New York Times articles from the 1900s and secondary literature of the history …show more content…
The Puerto Rican population in New York was large as Carmen writes “after World War 1 that most Puerto Ricans settled in New York City, and by 1940, 88 percent of Puerto Ricans lived there ... By 1970, just 59 percent of stateside Puerto Ricans sill lived in New York.” The immigration of them to New York created imperialism amongst them, it is shown in the film by the Jets gang, who look to bother the Puerto Ricans, the government like the police who accuse the Sharks of cutting one of the Jets member in their first confrontation, and then before the final battle the sheriff says he’s willing to help hurt and capture the Sharks. Similarly, in Adolph S. Ochs’ New York Times article, The ‘Puerto Rican’ Problem, he writes “ 22 percent of the “children brought to” the domestic relations court “as delinquents were Puerto Rican, while all the Puerto Ricans in town make up only about 7 percent of the city’s population”, so the country can see the discrimination against even children who should be more innocent as immigrants like the Sharks are as teenagers. Then in Leslie Highley’s, Puerto Rican Migration: Citizens Should Be Better Prepared, It Is Felt, Before Leaving Homes, she says that the migration problems made Puerto Rico spend thousands of dollars for cases and …show more content…
Along the same lines is in Adolph S. Ochs’ New York Times article, as he says “majority of New York’s Puerto Ricans, 85 to 95 percent of whom are reported to be completely self-supporting”, he is able to prove that Puerto Ricans came with the best interest for themselves or for their families in Puerto Rico like they sung in that scene. In the same way is Edward Miller’s, Fixing Puerto Rican Wages article, as he informs people about the prosperity in Puerto Rico by saying “a surplus of labor and the youth of the Puerto Rican labor movement have effectively prevented strong collective bargaining … average wages in Puerto Rico are higher than those throughout Latin America and even in England, France, and Italy.”, by mentioning this, it reveals U.S. imperialism as how Puerto Ricans helped bring the wages up in Puerto Rico because of their work in America so they want more money but the surplus work keeps them away. Also in the West Side Story film, we can see how the Puerto Rican ladies work in garment shops and the men were typically sweating so it may be that they work in undesirable jobs. Adolph S. Ochs’ New York Times article proves to show that the film is accurate to history as the Puerto Ricans in the film worked in

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