The American Dream In Anzia Yezierska's 'Hungry Hearts'

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The “American Dream” is defined as the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American. However, to one impoverished woman, it seemed like exactly that: a dream. That woman, Anzia Yezierska, addressed this in her book Hungry Hearts when she wrote “Like all people who have nothing, I lived on dreams.” (114)
Anzia Yezierska addressed this in her book Hungry Hearts when she wrote “Like all people who have nothing, I lived on dreams.” (114)
Yezierska was a Jewish-American novelist born in Plotsk, a Russian-Polish village, between 1880 and 1885, who emigrated with her family to New York in 1898. In America, she experienced intense poverty, social exclusion, and hunger both for food and the “American
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This pattern is perpetualized with her book of short stories, Hungry Hearts. Published in 1920, the book gained little recognition at first, mainly because of the small audience it related to. Yet, against all odds, once the book crawled its way into people 's hands, it quickly became exponentially more popular. By Thanksgiving in 1922, The Goldwyn Company paid for the film rights and promptly released a silent film adaptation.
The reward for the film rights was a payment of $10,000 with an added $200 a week salary for becoming a screenwriter. Yezierska met with many other writers who had become famous a result of publishing book and selling the film rights. For the first time in her life she had a faucet that had both cold and hot water compared to one by multiple families on Hester Street. During the months she experienced stardom, she did not write or publish any major stories, instead finding the feeling inauthentic. Only months after her instantaneous rise to fame, she became overwhelmed by the situation and decided to decline a $100,000 contract, returning to New
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