Immigration in texts by Otsuka, Nunez, and Powell
Immigration is the voluntary, physical movement from one place to another which requires some type of approval or admittance. When immigrating, people are looking for a better life, one that will be more successful than the one they lived before. Immigrants dream of new opportunities and advantages that were not available to them before, which will help them attain a better status. When moving to America, many immigrants are seeking the American Dream, the idea that in the United States you can be whoever you want to be and can become greatly successful with hard work and dedication. However, when things do not turn out as they believed it would, immigrants long to go back to their homelands but they cannot whether it is because of shame, change over time, or hope that things will improve. In the three novels: The Buddha in the Attic by Julia Otsuka, A Feather on the Breath of God by Sigrid Nunez, and The Fullness of Everything by Patricia Powell, characters move to the United States seeking better opportunities, new lives, and success but experience a feel of regret when their false realities are revealed and the journey back home is impossible.
Otsuka’s novel, The Buddha in the Attic, follows a group of Japanese women coming to the United States while dreaming the lives they will live with their new husbands. When they arrive, the women realize they have been lied to; the handsome men with the fancy car they see in their picture is not the man waiting for them at the airport. The women realize that, “the photographs we had been sent were twenty years old. That the letters we had been written had been written to us by people other than our husbands, professional people with beautiful handwriting whose job it was to tell lies and win hearts” (Otsuka, 18). The reality of the situation for these women sinks in right away and they know the life they were expecting is definitely not going to be the life they...
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