“The American Dream” is some idea that is tied to The United States. This is the land of opportunity. in this land, anyone can enjoy prosperity and the pursuit of happiness. It is particularly tied to one cause for immigration. Immigrants cross over to America (North), some legally and some illegally, seeking opportunities to better their life and live the American Dream. But, is the American Dream reality or is it really just a Dream? Are there enough opportunities to go around?
Henriquez gave some perspectives from multiple people from different families who were seeking that Dream. The Rivera family move to Delaware with their visas. They’re seeking something better for Maribel, who was in a traumatic accident. They send her to a school You have the father, Arturo, who has thirty days to get a job and is the only one allowed to work. Then the mother, Alma, who is learning English. Then you have the Toro family. There is the hot- head father, Rafael. The mother is Celia. Then the all star Enrique and Mayor. I believe she uses the different perspectives and constant character point of view changes to give readers a better understanding. That understanding is something that readers could either relate to or better see how different families with different circumstances could have the same situations. Both families came seeking the pursuit of happiness. But throughout the novel, you see both families struggle with the prosperity and the happiness part. Arturo loses his job and has the language barrier. Alma is heavily home-sick. Maribel is bullied and teased. Fairly quickly, the Dream turned into a nightmare. Instead of prosperity and happiness, they were met with struggle and uncertainty. You even see that struggle within family itself. Mayor longs for Maribel’s love and making her days perfect. He struggles to fit in and to become noticed from under Enrique. And the Riveras met an unfortunate struggle when Arturo dies.
Longing was a theme that stood out in this novel. Both families longed for something different and better. Longing makes hope. But Henriquez allowed the character’s longing cause pain and then happiness. I think throughout the novel, every character had to learn to dream differently. They learned the American Dream was another plan in disguise.
This novel is one of my favorites from when I was younger. It was very easy to re-read. The intention behind the concept of this novel, I feel is good. I felt it was to be beneficial to the community. A community where there is a minimum amount of crime is some that is ideally positive. No one within this community feels pain, sadness, different, sickness, and/or necessarily any harm. That is the perfect world, saying that because it is the total opposite of what our world is now. Sadly, we all know that nothing in the world is 100% perfect. It makes you wonder. We have similar components but different circumstances. We have a council that basically controls, sees, and decides our every move. The difference is, depending on who you are 😅😁, we feel mostly pain, sadness, sickness, and all types of harm.
Just like our world, that utopia is flawed to the bone. It wasn’t necessary for the over excessive control. Are you really living, if you don’t understand what is really going on? I was agreeing with Jonas when “life was becoming real in his eyes”. That was something that makes me think about life in the real world. Maybe pain, sorrow, sadness, and sickness are necessary components of life. We all heard the phrase, “Life ain’t fair”. The bad parts of life are really necessary to balance life. The hard part of life is what makes you appreciate the good in life.
It reminds me of the animated movie “Inside Out”. Riley memories are controlled by a committee of emotions. But most of her memories are from happiness(Control freak😂). Then sadness started messing up things, or so they thought. The movie taught that sadness was an important emotion. It was vital for Riley’s growth as a person.
Jonas decision to run away, like the previous giver apprentice, was him trying to teach the community that they wasn’t really living. They didn’t really have free will. They were only living to die. In life, you should live to live life to the fullest.
I have a love/hate emotion for this novel. Angie Thomas did a wonderful job writing and constructing this piece, which I love. I have hate for this novel because it is one of the view novels that was hard for me to get through. I found myself getting upset constantly. As an African American, I could understand all and relate to some of the factors of the book. Although the book is not about police brutality, it was in the top 3 things that was so hurtful. It was hurtful because it’s something we see frequently now. Shamefully, it’s something I have to fear because you may never know. Sadly, it’s something that we have to fear of and teach to our children. The aftermath of the killing was something that angered me a lot. The way the media portrays African Americans is sickening. Then the further victim blaming that occurred was very realistic. The media always take the road of slandering the victims( only the African Americans) as criminal to attempt giving sympathy to the real criminal.
Starr, I feel, has the worst position in the novel. Not only did she witness the situation. I felt as if no one was really there to help her but her parents. She was pressured a lot by her friends from both groups. She was pressured by the cops. She also pressured herself to try to be the person who was for everybody. She pressured herself the most to me because she often blamed herself. Sadly, one these situations that is what most people want everyone to believe. They want people that it’s the victim’s fault in those situations.
I feel ultimately that Angie hit every nail on its spot. I don’t know if she wrote from personal experience but I feel she wrote from experiences from African Americans as a whole.
It’s not uncommon that people are often bullied or ostracized from their friends, communities, and/or families. Sadly, it be because people feel anyone who decides to live “against the norm” is weird or wrong. Anna-Marie explores the magical or supernatural factor and use it to show or highlight serious issues that everyone should be aware of.
Having a lesbian relationship and someone who is transgender was very nice to read. Because, characters that fit that profile are not common in books. I feel as if it is beneficial for young and adult readers to read this and experience what the characters went through.
I was always taught that if someone hated you or didn’t like you, it was because they envied you. Those types of bullies see something that they like and couldn’t have. So they treat other people with disrespect.
Laurie Halse Anderson did an amazing job at constructing this novel. She also did a good job of showing that sometimes people have to speak about but are not really allowed because of circumstances. And it attack the horrific actions of people who would happily turn the blind eye of someone’s pain to satisfy their on ego. I connected to the character but not for the circumstance. Although I did not experience the horrific event as she did, I understand when there something that you want to say but there’s no one there who wants to listen. Personally from my parts within my family and common in parts of the African-American community, there are people who would simply refuse to listen. I have family members who are too prideful to accept mental health issues as depression as an issue. Something of that matter is always considered as “The thing we don’t talk about”. They see as a sign of weakness. Quite commonly, people who feel to be weak consider themselves to be embarrassed in front of family and strangers. Miranda did something that was considered as embarrassing, so she was ostracized.
In these particular situations, status quos are very important to some people. Her friends cared more about there social status more than the welfare of her friends. That reminds me of some of my family. They care more of what their neighbors say and how our more high-status familly will react to things. It’s heartbreaking and they never really see that they are ever the cause for our family divide. I truly believe that people don’t understand that is also the reason why young adults feel neglected. No one should ever feel neglected especially from their family.
I can’t say that I was even suprised from the reaction of people to Miranda. I have seen it too often. I only wish that close minded people would read this book and truly understand what Miranda was experiencing everyday. Maybe after concluding the book, they would try to listen more often to their friends and family. In the conclusion of this novel, I loved that she didn’t leave Miranda unresolved meaning of how she let Miranda find the courage and cope on her own. She allowed Miranda to feel herself become free independently and not depended on her FAKE friends.( They fake because they left and didn’t believe her). Miranda was aslo the cause for other warriors to come forth.