Book Review

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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 1970s. She introduces us to a wide range of residents as they face the challenge of keeping their honor and value system brought with them from their former country. While keeping this honor and value system alive inside their community, they face the challenge of a completely different set of values based on the American dream.

Salt of the Earth is the story of Mexican-American miners living in the small New Mexico community of Zinc Town. The movie focuses on the miners whose lives are subjected to the unjust treatment of the Zinc Mining Company. The immigrants come together in the form of a union and fight for their rights of basic plumbing, sanitation, and equal pay with that of the Anglo-Americans. Earth is a story of the Chicano struggle in America against the social challenges of racism, violence, and workers rights, while keeping their traditions and values intact. Ramon and Esperanza are the two main characters in the movie, who along with the other community members fight agaist the verbal abuse and discrimination in working and living conditions they encounter on a daily basis.

The social challenges they face on a daily basis that will be focused on in this paper include: 1) how the Chicano community deals with...
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