Professor Meir Lubetski
English CMP 2800
Jun 21st 2015
Essay question A. Sinuhe tells about the life of an immigrant in a foreign country. Discuss a few of the hardships of Sinuhe as an immigrant. Does it resemble the experiences of a modern immigrant?
American Dream In Old And Modern Times
The problems of immigrants have been existing for centuries. Looking back, the oldest story that readers could find about immigrants is the tale of Sinuhe. It speaks strongly to our world today, where is full of exile, cultural conflict and displacement. As we discussed earlier this semester, when fleeing to Syria, Sinuhe, as an educated and successful immigrant, has been through many hardships and because of these difficulties, he finally decides to return to his root, which subtly suggests the destiny of most of the immigrants in modern America. This Ancient Egyptian story rises a problem for our people who live in the modern America: Is it possible for immigrants to live here to pursue their dream and live happily and successfully? Does American Dream still exist anymore?
To get involved in Retjenu, Sinuhe has been through many obscurities. First, Sinuhe travelled between different countries to find a place to live. “Countries gave me to country”(65), none of those territories would take him into consideration. Finally, the king of upper Retjenu, Amunenshi decided to let him reside on the border of his territory with another country, where is usually very dangerous and full of conflicts. Then Sinuhe is arranged to marry the daughter of
the king who he doesn’t love to get his legal permanent status to stay in this country. This is the emotional hardship that Sinuhe is going through. Afterwards, when he became the ruler of a tribe of “the choicest of his country”(65), the natives initialized by the hero of Retjenu got jealous and tried to kick him out of Retjenu. He defeats Retjenu but he couldn’t defeat the idea of being challenged by the natives. He also suffers from the hardship that being away from his hometown, his masters and all other people who were close to him. Last but not least, he goes through the hardship that he couldn’t be accepted by the natives no matter how long he has been in there. He is rooted in the culture that he is born in even though he is raised in Retjenu. However, although Sinuhe has been through many difficulties, his story seems like a successful example of American Dream. An immigrant works his way to the top in his host country and returns to his homeland with glory and pride. But underneath the happy surface, the
tale of Sinuhe
is about the sad story of immigrants. Sinuhe’s experience resemble the experiences of a modern immigrant from three different aspects. First, it demonstrates the conflict between the person’s original culture and the culture of his host country. Undoubtedly, an individual is rooted in his own culture.The gap between Sinuhe’s cultural background and the culture in Retjenu makes Sinuhe an untrustworthy and threatening person to the natives. Second, Sinuhe’s experience reflects the indifference and exclusion of natives towards the immigrants as well as their cultures. There are also a lot of stories about the success of an immigrant in modern American society. However, most of those people do not belong to the mainstream society of America. They do business with people who share the same cultural root with them. Americans do not really admit that they are part of them. Third, Sinuhe’s story reflects the disharmony between the high expectation of the immigrants about living quality and economic status and the
hard reality. One of the reasons causing the happening of immigration is to pursue better economic and political status in host country. However, bacause all sorts of barriers in front of ...
Cited: Ed. Martin Puchner.
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 6076. Print.
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