Book Of Unknown Americans Essay

Words: 1192
Pages: 5

The Book of Unknown Americans explores the perspective of the American Dream as it’s shown through multiple different families and individuals that all immigrated to the US looking for a better life than what they were provided back home. However, we see that all these characters encounter battles that prevent them from being able to achieve their American Dream. Although the American Dream is achievable for some immigrants, many face struggles such as racism, unsanitary working conditions, and encounter cultural and linguistic barriers that prevent them from being able to access these opportunities, making it nearly impossible for the majority to move upwards in society. The characters in the book all demonstrate through their experiences how the American Dream is not …show more content…
Another barrier faced by immigrants is the English language. In the course of the book, it is evident that all the characters struggle with picking up the English language and how this barrier limits and interferes with daily life and communication with these characters. As proof, Alma runs into multiple conflicts due to the fact that she can not speak English very well. Specifically, when trying to help Mariabel get into a school (one of the main reasons why the Riveras moved to the US) Alma has miscommunications while on the phone with the school. ““The woman said something else that I couldn’t understand and I nearly wept in frustration. They were the only words. I had the sense that I should have been able to unpack them, that there was only a thin veneer separating me from their meaning, and yet that veneer was impenetrable.”” (Henriquez 24) This reveals Alma’s frustrations with not being able to understand the lady on the phone. As demonstrated, immigrants in the book face both social and lingual barriers that prevent them from accessing many