The Culture of Immigrants

Satisfactory Essays
The Madonna of 115th Street Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950 Book Review

The Madonna of 115th Street by Rabert A. Orsi reveals a perspective on how religion effects the every day lives of the Italian immigrants living in italian Harlem from 1880-1950. Orsi teaches teaches readers all about the immigrants religious beliefs, and how they effect families and everyday lives of these immigrants. He talks about the annual festa of the Maddonna del Carmine, or Virgin Mary. Throughout Orsi's description of this celebration, one learns all about the immigrants ideals, beliefs, and customs. He teaches leaders all about all the sacrifices these newcomers make all year for this celebration. For example, they save up money for nice clothes for their children, expensive (and huge) candles, and other offering to made to the Madonna statue (the church). Orsi also instills how much these people care about their family members above all else. The statue of La Madonna (Virgin Mary) is a tool that takes one into the discussion on the role of a family, the hardships of immigration, and a lot more. Orsi explains how much power this statue (symbol for their catholic faith) had over this community. The Madonna and the catholic faith overall embodies the expected conduct of all Italians. Orsi gets most of his information through his interviews with Italians who have a lot of knowledge on Italian Harlem during this time period. He also got some of his information from documents and novels written during this time. I learned a lot from reading this book. It was interesting to find out about the culture of these immigrants. After reading this I had a greater insight on the culture, family life, and religion of these people.
Overall I thought this book was pretty good (for a required class read). I really thought the it could have been a lot shorter without losing any of its overall message. I'm not just saying this because I didn't wanted to not

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