Essay on Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers

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Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers

Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers attacks several social norms of both her traditional Polish homeland and the American life her protagonist has come to know. Clearly autobiographical, Bread Givers boldly questions why certain social and religious traditions continue throughout the centuries without the slightest consideration for an individual's interests or desires. Sara's traditional Jewish upbringing exposed her to a life dominated by patriarchal control; when she arrived in New York to seek out the American Dream, she found that once again her gender would stand in the way of such desires. In spite of these cultural barriers, her mother understood Sara's burning quest to break free from
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Through my inarticulate groping and reaching-out I had found the soul-the spirit-of America!" (Yezierska PG).

Sara's experiences during her migration to the United States mirrors those of others who, like her, sought a better life than the one they left behind in their homelands. Marred by frequent struggles and frustration, the life of an immigrant was also a source of happiness and celebration for those who found their ultimate dream in American. Addressing such questions as why did people come to seek a new life in the United States, what were their expectations and did they change after they arrived, as well as how do autobiographies better enable society to understand historical issues surrounding immigration, Yezierska effectively resolves such details with her insightful account.

Bread Givers tellingly reflects a time of drastic change, both within Sara's personal life as well as in the lives of her family. The author's account of the American Dream was not as rosy as perhaps she had anticipated, noting that her reality was in a constant state of chaos and lacking essential discipline. By this observation, Yezierska became quickly disillusioned with
American capitalistic customs and habits, stating that they were at the root of social demise. However, this was not the case for the majority of immigrants from that period. Eager to leave

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