22 Febuary 2012
Journal Entry #5: Anzia Yezierska’s “The Lost Beautifulness”
Anzia Yezierska’s short story “The Lost Beautifulness,” is the portrayal of the common immigrant during the 1920’s in search of the “American dream.” The main character Hanneh Hayyeh is “tired of living like a pig,” so she does whatever it takes to fulfill her place in living this dream. Mrs. Hayyeh even idolizes her son and takes much pride in the fact that he’s in the army, fighting for her to live this dream. Another character that contributes to the way Mrs. Hayyeh perceives America is, Mrs. Peterson. Mrs. Peterson has it all; a beautiful house,stability, and money. One thing that Mrs. Peterson mentions to Mrs. Hayyeh that is very crucial is the word “democracy,” Mrs. Hayyeh completely misinterprets this word thinking that everyone in America can be financially equal. Mrs. Hayyeh has unrealistic expectations of this dream, and she later comes to realize that not everything is as good as it seems.
“The Lost beautifulness,” is a story filled with many historical components. An obvious component that is seen from the start is the famous WWI, where we see Mrs. Hayyeh ”worship” her son before he goes out and fights for America. Many men were drafted and took off to the war during these times, leaving behind the sad, but proud mothers. Another important historical component is “immigration,” where in the text we meet Mrs. Hayyeh, an Immigrant from Russia. A major factor that led to the rise of immigration during these times was to express freedom of religion, and feel the American Dream. Mrs. Hayyeh was a Jewish woman trying to escape oppressed Russia and coming to the U.S where she later realized that here days of oppressions were not over yet. The oppression she faced in the U.S had to do with the men in her life. First, she faces her cruel landlord who keeps increasing her rent on unjust terms. Mrs. Hayyeh relentlessly tries to fight this man’s...