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The New Immigrants In The 1920's

Powerful Essays
If you ask an American what it was like in the 1920’s I am sure you would get a completely different answer than if you asked an Immigrant. In School we are taught about the “Jazz Age.” We talk about the jazz music, movies, and flappers, but what people don't realize, is that there are two different ways people lived and acted during this time period. The “New Immigrants” who came from foreign countries such as Poland, Romania, and Italy did not have the same experiences as the Americans. These immigrants were treated differently because they spoke differently and had different religions and customs. They were nothing like Americans. This novel explains how they lived with everyday struggles such as: living and working in abject poverty, running…show more content…
The men (usually the father) would decide what the women could or couldn't do, what they could wear, and who they would marry. Throughout the whole novel of Bread Givers, men treated women like they were their property. For example, Reb Smolinsky (the father in my novel) did not work, but took his daughters’ and wife's wages that they individually worked hard for. Having dreams or going to school was very abnormal for women at the time. Women had duties they needed to fulfill each day so they wouldn't have time or were smart enough to go to school. The duties included: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and cooking the family meals. When it came to food, the man was always to get the bigger and better servings of the meal. Men also manipulated women back then telling them lies, such as “prayers don't count because God doesn't listen to women. Heaven and the next world are only for men.” (Bread Givers, 9) The number one thing that bothered me in this novel though, was that the father got to choose who his daughters married. No matter how much I trust my father, I would never let him choose the man I would be spending the rest of my life with. Many women grew up unhappy because they wanted their freedom to choose the person they want to love forever. Women were looking for more rights and respect. Lucky for them, some rights were granted to them. They won the right to vote in…show more content…
Our environment and community has greatly improved since back then. Yes, we still struggle with some being in poverty, but many have jobs to support their families. They can afford to have some kind of shelter over their head and food in their pantries. We still have the struggle of people being diagnosed with different illnesses, but today we at least have some cures and have the resources to look for more. Women have been granted many rights since the 1920’s which was extremely important. Women were granted individual freedoms and can now choose who they want to marry. To this day, we still see small actions that remind us that women used to be a part of men's property. For example, the father walks down the aisle with the bride and “gives her away” to the next man in her life. As if saying that she once was mine but now I will give her to you. Not always, but most of the time women do the cooking and cleaning, but it is not something they are forced to do by their husbands. Men and women are more grateful for each other, making the relationships happier and stronger than ever before. Marriage is a two way street and it should always stay this
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