Chicano Studies Paper

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The United States, a place associated with hope, equal opportunity and freedom also faces many underlying issues. The idea of this “perfect” country has been corrupted with problems such as immigration, growing class division and most prominently the 2007 recession. These burdens have prevented people from living the “American Dream”, a concept that our country has over glorified. The root of these ongoing problems has not been properly addressed, preventing our nation from making any progress. Looking closely at the continuous problems that the Unites States has and still faces, it is viable to say that these issues revolve around capitalism.

The novel, The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar illustrates how immigrants like Araceli are victimized due to unresolved issues with money and the recession. When Araceli is prosecuted for abusing and kidnapping the Torres-Thompson children, the case eventually transitions into an issue with immigration. As the case gains media attention people like Ian Goller and Janet Bryson express resentment toward Araceli. Within Araceli, Goller and Bryson saw a representation of immigrants, who in their mind were to blame for the issues that had erupted in “their” country, such as the everlasting recession. Janet Bryson exemplifies this anger and bitterness when she boldly states: “To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants […] contribute to their society [..] Look at our full prisons, our higher insurance rates, our lowering education standards”(325). Bryson and Goller’s actions symbolize the result of capitalism, the true villain within the novel. Capitalism has never been fully recognized as the true cause for many of the problems the U.S has faced causing immigrants like Araceli to be used as scapegoats for issues they had little influence in causing. As a result, capitalism can be seen as the barbarian in the novel, which in turn leads to barbaric actions on behalf of people like Goller and Bryson,...
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