Book Review Essay

Words: 1065
Pages: 5

The book, Honor and the American Dream: Culture and Identity in a Chicano Community, and the film, Salt of the Earth, both relay to their audience, the pursuit of happiness within the Chicano community in which they live. These works aim to show how Mexican-American immigrants fight to keep both their honor and value systems alive in the United States of America, a country which is foreign to their traditions. The Mexican-Americans encountered in these works fight for their culture of honor in order to define themselves in their new homeland, a homeland which honors the American dream of successful capitalism. The author of Honor and the American Dream, Ruth Horowitz, takes us to Chicago’s Chicano community of 32nd Street in the …show more content…
The social injustice in this movie is even more implied by the sheriff and the deputy, who all but scorn the Chicanos as a result of their bosses. Toward the end of the movie, they try to evict the Quinteros, who seem to have been a thorn in their side since the beginning of the strike. Racist oppression is exemplified by the sheriff in the scene which Esperanza begins to deliver her baby, and is told that the company doctor would never come to a picket line. While the 32nd Chicano community also strives to live the American dream, they constantly face racism and oppression by the outside community. Horowitz describes in detail some of their struggles pursuing their dream. Relating to work inequalities, she states, “Protests have been mounted against restrictive practices in the labor unions, against the Chicago Transit Authority, and against the police force, which had only 178 Latins out of 13,000 officers in 1972.” In persisting her point, Horowitz goes on to describe the innovative ways in which the Chicanos begin to overcome their position. “Local organizations have established training programs and job agencies. One program had a union contractor train youths whom the union promised to hire as apprentices when the program was completed. Several such programs were run by community residents” (Honor and the American Dream pg. 43). Education is of the utmost importance to