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America and I Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of America and I.
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Poverty

Yezierska describes the impoverished circumstances in which the immigrants in New York find themselves. People such as Yezierska came to America to escape such poverty; in Russia, they had to work all the time simply to survive. America, the land of opportunity, is supposed to be much different, but Yezierska finds this is not the case. She works long hours in a sweatshop but still earns only enough money to provide herself the barest of sustenance. When she loses that job, she has nothing to fall back on and is "driven out to cold and hunger" in the streets.

Yezierska experiences another, equally devastating sort of poverty: poverty of the soul. Unable to express her creativity, Yezierska feels something within her "like the hunger in the heart that never gets food." To Yezierska, feeding the soul is as important as feeding the body; a person who works solely...

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This section contains 804 words
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Buy the America and I Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
America and I from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.