“Ellis Island”: Will we make it?
During the 1900’s, thousandths of immigrants were migrating to America from all over Europe. The immigrants brought nothing with them; accept a dream of a better life.
Irving Howe was very careful with the choices of words, he used with explaining the day of the arrival of thousands of immigrants to Ellis Island during the 20th century. When Howe introduced the feelings of the immigrants it was a sense of discomfort and confusion clearly though the immigrants. Not being able to comprehend the impact of their arrival at Ellis Island, some were unsure of what the future shall hold for them. One immigrant shouted, “Only God Knows” this is a powerful meaning attached to the significant for the immigrants opportunities in America. This is saying that everything is out of their hands and, it’s only Gods decision. This is a statement used by few people; this carries so much meaning that you can feel the pain and emotion of that day at Ellis Island. Howe clearly states, in the word choice he uses to elaborate the feelings of the thousandths of immigrants stationed at Ellis Island. This is like the Day of Judgment for many immigrants, the point of no return. Howe states, how the immigrants were handled going through the process of inspection. The immigrants were welcomed in this country by being ordered to line up in stalls like animals instead of humans. Immigrants ordered to stand in lines according to nationality. “It is a hard torment to understand, this first taste of America, with its poking of flesh and prying into private parts and mysterious chalking of clothes” (309). The immigrants have a dream of a better life in America and a new beginning. They were welcomed like numbers, not humans. This makes things a lot more impersonal, and with an inspection instead of an exam, poking instead of looking. Howe presents a clear choice of words, when he explains the inspections of the immigrants. It was a sense of very impersonal...
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