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Immigrant Struggles Research Paper

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Ragini Sharma
Professor Debra Peplow
AP English III
24 April 2016
The Immigrant Struggle
Along with a few belongings and their visas, immigrants arrive in the United States with a bounty of hopes and dreams for their future. They idealize America as a land of freedom, equality, and opportunity--a land that will improve their quality of life and allow them to grow as individuals. However, upon entering the United States, many immigrants face an entirely different community with foreign cultures and values, resulting in an identity crisis. Often, immigrants find themselves choosing between their faith and values, thus sacrificing any opportunity for social success, or assimilating to American society in order to blend in with others. Moreover,
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Therefore, this initial transition into the American lifestyle is one full of isolation, depression, and a loss of confidence as immigrants try to rebuild their sense of self. Disillusioned immigrants endure an identity crisis as they live amongst conflicting cultures--their homeland and American society--and struggle to pursue their careers in the workforce. Immigrants feel a sense of loss and become disillusioned as they learn to live and assimilate to the American society without the presence and support of their friends, family, and native culture. Motivated by the chance at a better life, immigrants arrive in the United States with high expectations of furthering their career and achieving success in all aspects of life (Kincaid, 1006). However, assimilation to American society soon becomes a reality, plunging many immigrants into an identity crisis as they find themselves sacrificing their…show more content…
As their lives shift between home and school, second-generation immigrants are simultaneously exposed to differing values and practices, causing them to question which culture they truly belong to. Children of immigrants are influenced both by the beliefs and teachings of their parents and by the American culture they learn from their peers, friends, and teachers, “not knowing which one to follow and which one to obey” (Identity Crisis and Clashing Cultures 2015). For this reason, such “strong differences are a constant dividing factor” between first and second generation immigrants as children struggle to meet the expectations of their two contrasting worlds. Furthermore, second-generation immigrants also experience a loss of belonging towards their culture because they are less likely to be exposed to the history of their native country within schools. In his poem, “In Which the Ancient History I Learn is Not My Own,” Eavan Boland reveals his desire to learn about his roots in Ireland in his ancient history class; however, Boland lived in London, meaning the class primarily focused on and glorified England’s achievements in the world. As he assimilated to British society and was taught to idealize England in school, Boland felt that “Ireland was far away and farther away every year”; he
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