Perseverance through Faith and Family into the New World
The book Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor portrays the life of his ancestors and their families from both sides of his family, his father, Juan Salvador Villasenor, and his mother, Maria Guadalupe "Lupe" Gomez. The book shows the story of his parents and their journeys to the United States across the border as undocumented immigrants from Mexico in an effort to escape the Revolution of 1910. The book depicts the differences between the two families' difficult journeys of survival yet, portrays their similarities and how their journeys culminate in the joining of the two families through the marriage of the youngest son of the Villasenor family and the youngest daughter of the Gomez family. The two families experience contrasting journeys as Juan's family was poor in Mexico after once being rich, however, in the United States, his family becomes better off due to Juan's entrepreneurial activities. Meanwhile, Lupe's family does not experience the same fortune as they leave Mexico as a lower-middle class family that supported itself through its serving food to miners and occasional finding of gold, and they are not able to obtain economic prosperity when crossing into the United States and struggle to settle down and are continuously moving as they work in the fields picking crops from one place to another following the harvest. Despite the difficulties that these two Mexican families suffer in their attempt to escape the Revolution and in their hope of a better life in the United States, Rain of Gold depicts the social and economic struggles of Mexican families and the prejudice they experience in the United States and how Mexican immigration is similar to African immigration as well as Chinese and Japanese immigration into the United States. Prior to both families' immigration to the United States, Juan and Lupe's families are centered around their mothers, that are the ejes de sus familias, from which everything revolves around. Their mothers' strength and convictions are the main reasons why their families remain strong despite the difficulties in their journey and the many times that both families' members start to lose hope. Their mothers continue to persuade their sons and daughters to persevere through their struggles. Victor's two parents Juan and Lupe are the closest of either mother's sons or daughters, and both learn tremendous amount of knowledge and life experience from their mother's teachings. Socially, Juan's family is poor because "their settlement up in Los Altos de Jalisco, that Don Pio had built to last for ten generations, had been destroyed" (Villasenor 102). The family is forced to move because their village and house have been destroyed as a cause of the Revolution and is another example of how the Revolution destroyed villages through plundering, destruction, and deaths. This caused many families like the Villasenor family to move and look to cross the border as a way of improving their way of life and an escape from the danger of the Revolution. Economically, Juan's family is poor as evidenced by their need to steal corn for food from a hacienda on their passage to the border to cross into the United States (Villasenor 103). Juan's family has been uprooted from their village and now struggles to survive everyday and find food. During their journey, they suffer many days from hunger and so much that Dona Margarita had to go beg outside a church as "a disgusting, dirty old lady, whining and crying as she clawed at every person, that she was, indeed, the most repulsive thing Juan had ever seen" in order to provide food for their family (Villasenor 145). Politically, Juan's family did not have any political power as they are extremely poor and barely survive everyday on their journey to cross over to the United States. Juan's family previously had some political power as Don Pio had been the founder and the settler of the village that...
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