Life in New York Tenement Houses

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Life in New York Tenement Houses

1. What are the three distinct classes of homes in the tenement houses? In what ways does each reflect the needs and resources of the renters?

There are three distinct classes of houses in the tenement-houses; the cheapest is the attic home. Three rooms is next and is usually for very poor people. The vast majority of respectable working people live in four rooms. Each of these classes reflects the needs and resources of the renters in that the attic home, for example, is generally one small room and is usually rented out by a lonely elderly person with not much money. Three rooms generally consist of a kitchen and two dark bedrooms and are usually rented out to very poor people who have a family. Four rooms generally consist of a kitchen, two dark bedrooms, and a parlor and are usually rented out by respectable, hard working families.

2. What views does the author have of landlords, the "young street roughs," and the dispossessed German woman? What do his views of each have in common?

The author views the landlords as just people who are trying not to lose money on their investment (the property). The author explains that the unreasonable harshness of many landlords is often justifiable because it is the only way to secure them against loss. The author views the dispossessed German woman as a worthy person, which is why he rented two small rooms for the woman and her daughter. He views the "young street roughs" as just normal people who, if approached properly would help with good will. The author's views of each, is of good will. He does not view any of them with hate or anger.

3. What, according to the author, is the role of the city mission churches in the tenement areas?

According to the author, the role of the city mission churches in the tenement areas is to find better homes for the immigrants who come to the city and are living in deplorable conditions.

4. In what ways does the tenement promote the "brotherhood of man and the union of Christendom"?

The tenement promotes the "brotherhood of man and the union of Christendom" in that people of different nationalities and also people of different religions in the tenements are living together, helping each other, and mourning deaths together at funerals.

Two Poems

1. What does the Statue of Liberty's lamp symbolize? Why does Lazarus refer to the statue as the "Mother of Exiles"?

The Statue of Liberty's lamp symbolizes a welcome to immigrants coming to this country. Lazarus refers to the statue as the "Mother of Exiles" because she represents the drive that immigrants coming to this country have, for one reason or another.

2. According to Aldrich, what makes our country an "enchanted land"?

According to Aldrich, what makes our country "an enchanted land" is the cities, forests, and fields of living gold (crops) and all of the other great characteristics that this country has.

3. What does Aldrich mean by his statement, "Wide open and unguarded stand our gates"? What should we do to protect our country?

By this statement he means that the gates to the country, which is all of the coastlines in the west and the east, are unguarded. We should guard the coasts to protect our country.

4. Why do you think that the contrasting attitudes expressed in the two poems have endured throughout most of American history? How could they ever be reconciled?

The contrasting attitudes expressed in the two poems have endured throughout most of American history because people agree with the ideas. They could be reconciled by trying to get everyone to agree on both.

Immigration Laws

1. Why do you think the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924 are among the most controversial legislation passed in United States history? What do you think the arguments for and against them would have been?

The Chinese Exclusion Act and the Immigration Acts of...
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