Who Is Imbolo Mbue's Irony In Behold The Dreamer

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According to Labor Department statistics, “People of color are nearly twice as likely to be out of work as Caucasian Americans, even when they have the same degree” (Rassuli 1). Despite the number of immigrants coming to America in search of freedom and new opportunities, citizens see them as “outsiders” and “unwelcomed” (2). These immigrants come to America for a better life, chasing the “American Dream,” only to be “struck down” by American society (2). Imbolo Mbue explores these challenges that immigrants face and expands on the obstacles they have to overcome in her book Behold the Dreamers. Mbue’s characterization that highlights the contrast between Jende and Neni creates a sense of irony that reflects her theme of how the American Dream is not possible due to the obstacles that separate immigrants from American culture. Mbue contrasts Jende and Neni’s beliefs on the reality of them achieving the American Dream and analyzes the irony in the evolution of their opinions. In the beginning of the novel, Mbue describes Neni’s concerns about their future success in America after she received news that Jende’s papers might not be validated by saying, “This helplessness crushed [Neni], the fact that she had travelled to America only to be reminded of how powerless she was, how unfair life could be” (62). She feels this “helplessness” because obtaining papers is yet another obstacle they must face to achieve their dreams…show more content…
She accurately depicts the challenges that many immigrants face when they move to America in hope of finding a better life. Even today, immigrants are treated as inferiors while they struggle to find work because of the persisting racism and ignorance. Mbue brings attention to these issues and is able to expose the lies behind the American
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