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America and I Criticism

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Published in the 1923 collection Children of Loneliness, "America and I" is one of three autobiographical essays through which Yezierska relates aspects of the immigrant experience. This book includes pieces that reiterate the author's major themes of the conflicts between the Old World and the New World, and the desire to be a crucial part of America.

Despite such fundamental similarities to 1920s Hungry Hearts, which helped drive Yezierska's early success, this volume drew less attention. Many Jewish critics reproved Yezierska for her rendering of immigrant speech patterns, which they felt made immigrants sound ignorant. Several mainstream critics commented on Yezierska's lack of self-control in her writing. "[H]er emotion tends to become emotionalism, to run away with her instead of being under firm control," wrote Dorothy Scarborough in the Literary Review. The critic for the Springfield Republican also commented that the work was at times "incoherent and reckless...

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This section contains 474 words
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America and I from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.