Passage of Experience:
Issues of Maturity in Hughes, Gregory, and Ortiz-Cofer
Many people strive to achieve their own dreams. The reality of the American Dream is the essence and aspiration of both American and immigrant alike. Some would say it consists only of being able to buy and own a home, but it is so much more! The American Dream is really so named, due to the opportunity, which seemingly exist only here in America. Some people, already here in America, chase their dream by wanting to be more successful than their parents, and others who immigrated to this country chase their dream by giving up everything just to get here and have the opportunity to succeed. This paper examines the American Dream for three characters in the stories I Have a Dream, Gettysburg Address, and The American Dream.
The American Dream: Having Equal Opportunity for King, Lincoln, and Jischke
Many young people must experience a painful test in order to reach the next level of maturity. These rituals come in a variety of ways. This paper reveals the struggle for three protagonists on their journey of self-identity in Langston Hughes’s Salvation, Dick Gregory’s Shame, and Judith Ortiz-Cofer’s Myth.
The narrator in Langston Hughes’s story Salvation endures a traumatic test of faith during the ritual of church initiation. He begins with a naiveté that Jesus is alive and waiting for him. He suffers greatly when this does not happen. His transition to adulthood is tainted by this disillusionment and punishes him with guilt. Hughes (2013) stated “I was crying because I hadn’t seen Jesus, and now I didn’t believe there was a Jesus any more, since he didn’t come to help me”(p. 125). Like a child that learns Santa Claus is not real, the protagonist agonizes over his loss of faith. Culp (1998) revealed “Langston waited in vain to see Jesus, but finally, amid the praying and sobbing and singing of the congregation he, too, went forward, "to save further...
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