Every American has heard stories of Eastern European and Southern European immigration to the United States in the late nineteenth and. Listen as master storyteller Linda Tate reads Anzia Yezierska’s autobiographical essay, “America and I.” Learn more at. America and IAnzia Yezierska Author BiographyPlot Anzia Yezierska, known as the “Queen of the Ghetto” or “The Immigrant Cinderella,” became a.

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Yezierska and people like her came to escape a country where they were discriminated against socially and economically because of their religion. When she takes factory jobs, annd begins to see the reality of the garment industry. She attracted more critical attention about a year later when another tale, “Where Lovers Dream” appeared in Metropolitan.

It was the last novel Yezierska published before falling into obscurity. Love in the Promise Land: With their help, she won a scholarship to study domestic science at Columbia University.

Many Americw faced discrimination; for example, some employers refused to hire Jews. Hundreds of thousands then settled in New York City, where they often lived in slums and crowded, unhealthy apartments. The Yeziersla of John Dewey. Her works feature elements of realism with attention to detail; she often has characters express themselves in Yiddish-English dialect.

Introduction & Overview of America and I

Other Jews, however, clung to the traditions of their former life, particularly their religious rituals and their habits of spending the majority of time studying the Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament.

For example, the state of Georgia was chartered in as a colony where poor English citizens, such as those who had been jailed for debt, could start a new life. Aside from the detail that the sweatshop is located in a dark basement, she does not provide a composite that would help the reader see the reality of the sweatshop, such as the unsafe, unhealthy working conditions that characterized such places. Her passions are not enough to sustain her, and she, like so many other immigrants, accepts a menial position as a maid for a family from the Old World who appear to have assimilated to this New World.


Wayne State University Press,— Anzia Yezierska was one of more than two million Eastern European Jews who arrived in the United States during a major wave of Jewish immigration from toseeking economic opportunity and relief from pogroms and anti-Semitism.

“America and I” by Anzia Yezierska by Emily Taylor on Prezi

The illusive “American dream” sought by poor European immigrants, particularly the struggles of immigrant women searching for their identifies in America, became her own rags-to-riches story. In California, her success led her to be called by publicists, “the sweatshop Cinderella.

Donate Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women. View a FREE sample. Some Jewish immigrants responded by trying to assimilate into American culture. First published inthis aemrica edition of this definitive work on the nature of Judaism in post- World War II America offers an updated introduction covering shifts in American Judaism since the s.

Anzia Yezierska: “America and I”

She gets a job at a sweatshop sewing on buttons. Is anzua an America? See image credit below. Her stories provide insight into the meaning of liberation for immigrants—particularly Jewish immigrant women. How wretched their lives must have been, I have thought more than once. My work left only hard stones on my heart.

The mother tries to calm the father down, but she herself is distraught. The industry takes no interest in her passions nor her skills unless they can improve productivity. This American culture is unwilling to accept or incorporate foreign ways. From toYezierska held a fellowship at the University of Wisconsinwhich allowed her to continue writing despite her poor economic circumstance.


The tenement was home to nearly 7, immigrants. Yezierska sees her inability to communicate as the major obstacle standing in the way of her dreams. Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries.

America and I – Summary Summary & Analysis

After 6 months, the marriage was annulled. Yezierska tells her stories from a woman’s point of view, and many are semi-autobiographical. Anzia Yezierska’s Sartorial Fictions. American Women Prose Writers, — Carving out a Niche.

However, after her death inher books became well-known once more, as feminists reclaimed lost female writers. While all of Yezierska’s work takes as its most important theme the immigrant’ s creation of her place in America, in “America and I,” she addresses these issues in a more direct manner.

All day long, only with my hands I work. Yezierska takes a class at the factory where she works. Perhaps this couple rose to their current status through such basic labor, or perhaps they had been a part of this new culture long enough that they felt entitled to make those who came after them struggle to survive. As Ebest goes on to say in his article: The stories are legion, the images unforgettable.