Bread Givers

What it means to be an immigrant? In the Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska, tells the story of life as an immigrant in the Untied States, particularly immigrant women’s pursuit of the American Dream.For many immigrants, the U.S. was the key to a better life, a life free of economic depression and religious oppression. America was a fantasy to all immigrants. The Jewish immigrants used historical analogies to describe sites of Jewish suffering in distinction to America as a place of freedom, opportunity, and promise.
In the narratives that Jewish Americans tell about their collective past in the United States, the Lower East Side functions not just as a particular neighborhood where many Jews lived for some period of time but as exemplary of the Jewish experience in America. They came to America and found instead the Lower East Side, a warren of crowded, dirty, and mean streets. In this slum, these impoverished Jewish immigrants re-created the culture of Eastern Europe, thick with the smells, sounds, tastes, and noises of life in the “Old World.” Lower East Side served as some kind of transitional zone for the Jewish immigrants. In that neighborhood, they underwent an ordeal of cultural reeducation as they learned to be free. The Lower East Side served as a middle ground where the Jewish immigrants dwelled among themselves while waiting for permission to enter the real America. It served as their narrow bridge between slavery and freedom, between the their homeland and the promised land of America.
Jewish immigrants in America, like any other immigrants, faced many obstacles. Their
lives were ran thought by the recurrent themes of oppression, constriction, and danger, on one hand, followed by the expansiveness of liberation, on the other. Immigrants had to adjust to industrial labor, unfamiliar languages, and city life. Clinging to their national identities and religions.
Jewish immigrants worked long and hard, to strongly …


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