Good Example Of Research Paper On The Theme Of Passing In Brian Ascalon Roley’s Novel American Son

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: United States, America, Family, Immigration, Life, Parents, Hope, Challenges

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/09

Passing is a season that every individual has to go through in life as they go through the various stages of life. In the novel ‘American son’, the theme of passing has been revealed in various situations and circumstances. The book takes us through the life of immigrants from the Pilipino background and the challenges they face as they adjust to a new environment. As described in the novel, most immigrants flock to the United States to escape a particular issue or challenge in their countries, with the hope of a better livelihood. However, it turns out tragic for them especially as they realize that they will have to encounter more complex issues that they will have to lie with, if not adjust to. Passing to the novel characters involve adjusting to a new culture, growing into mature adults, inventing survival tactics and above all living with the fact that life may never be better for them.
The story line revolves around an immigrant woman who escaped the caste system in her country and married an American man who later divorced her, leaving with two sons, Tomas and Gabe, to take care of. Despite her change of residence to escape from her issue, she is in contact pressure to take back his sons to Philippines where they will be well taken care of. The story tells of the many challenges that immigrants face as they are held in between going back to their home countries or remain in America and deal wit their issues. America has often been considered a land of opportunities as many immigrants consider it to be a perfect destination for change. America also happens to be one of the counties that have the largest population of immigrants, who are easily granted entry.
Much of the economic growth experienced in United States is credited to the immigrants who have been flocking the country many centuries ago. It has hence been the desire and plan of the US government to make life bearable for the immigrants through the American dream. It is the hope that the immigrants have and the promises of the government that make most of them stay in the country despite the numerous challenges that they face (Johnson 33). One of the biggest challenges that immigrants face in America is racisms, which comes with unequal distribution of resources and the psychological torture faced by the immigrants. There is also the issue of culture shock that the immigrants have to deal with. They realize that to perfectly fit in the American society, they have to abandon some of their cultural practices as they are some of the many factors that make them to be discriminated and sidelined in the distribution of resources.
It due to the challenges that the immigrants face, and the impossibility of hem going back to their home countries that make them adopt various survival tactics. For instance, the mother of the boys chose to stay in America with the hope that his children will benefit from the rights of being citizens, considering the fact that they were born to an American father and within the boarders of the land. She hopes one day that the American dream will become a reality and that their sons will benefit from the rights that other American citizens enjoy. She is however shocked at the struggles that his sons have to go through as she struggles to ensure that they have the best life ever. Her only hope of the sons is the younger one, who has a good character and is always defensive on the family. The mother has a lot of hope on his sons, yet there is a lot about them that she has no idea of. Nobody seems to appreciate her efforts to bring up his sons as he is ridiculed for not being a good mother to them.
It is unfortunate that the immigrants are discriminated on, based on the stereotypes that have been held against them. It does not matter how much they try to disapprove them by behaving contrary to them. They will always encounter a group of people who have not closely interacted with them, but sideline them basing on what they have heard about them. it is for this reason that most immigrants give up on being ‘good’ and adapt a rather aggressive character that will ensure they survive. Tomas is a perfect example of a young man who gave up on being ‘good’ and realized that surviving in America as an immigrant is more important than the character he displays. Being the eldest son, and the father figure in the family, he had to do all he could to enhance his survival (Roley 67). To prove his masculinity amidst an environment of discrimination, he displays himself as a gang and engages in a business that will uplift his living standards.
Gabu, the younger of the sons displays an innocent, naïve and immature look by being the family’s mediator. He loves his mother and appreciates his efforts to ensure they have a good life and at the same time empathizes with his elder brother who has drifted. He wants to protect the mother and the brother by not letting her mother know the gang activities his brother is engaged in. however, as the novel records, there is the passing of the ‘goodness’ in Gabu, who realizes that it is meaningless to live a life to please a society that does not appreciate. This is a sign of him growing up and giving up on the American dream by adopting an aggressive lifestyle that will make him to survive. It is distressing for the mother to see his two sons she has always cherished being swallowed into criminality. There is nothing much she can do but sympathizes at the fact that the hopes she had on the American dream to transform his sons has turned out to be tragic. Her sons were her only hope to have a better life in America, yet they have been compelled by circumstances to turn into criminal activities.
The story of Ika, the mother of the boys, is just an example of the hopelessness that most immigrants live in. they escape a big challenge in their home countries only to come and be faced with bigger challenges in their new homes of origin. At first, things were so rosy for Ika, especially after being married to an American. The action guaranteed her of safety in America as well as a good life for her children. However, as it immerged later, all that was a cover up for the bigger challenges that she was to face. Despite the challenges that she faced, just like many other immigrants, she choose to stay in the land because of the hope she had in the American dream. After all, her sons were citizens of America and will definitely be accorded the privileges accorded to other citizens. It is the hope for a better future through her sons that kept her in United States. Ika knew that her sons will not have to struggle for education and will automatically get good jobs and hence transforming her subsequent generation.
The American dream is still a dream to many other immigrants. They are all aware of the challenges that they face, but the hope they have in the dream, keeps them in the land with the hope that it will one day become a reality. However, until then, they will have to struggle and even adopt more aggressive survival tactics that will ensure they survive in America. Some of them were born in America and there is nothing they can do about it (Ty 124). The know America as their mother land and despite the challenges they face, they will persevere till the end. However, as they wait, the American society will have to deal with the consequences of not realizing the dreams they have for them. As they are busy discriminating and sidelining them because of their skin color and background, the immigrants will be shrewder in their approach just to ensure they get what they deserve. They will keep robbing, and engaging in questionable business activities just to ensure they survive the high living costs in America. As sad and undesirable as their actions may be, it is even more disheartening for the immigrants to think that it is the only alternative to survive in a land where their efforts are not appreciated

Works cited

Johnson, Claudia Durst. Youth Gangs in Literature. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.
Roley, Brian Ascalon. American son: a novel. WW Norton & Company, 2010.
Ty, Eleanor. "Abjection, Masculinity, and Violence in Brian Roley's" American Son" and Han Ong's" Fixer Chao"." MELUS (2004): 119-136.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 09) Good Example Of Research Paper On The Theme Of Passing In Brian Ascalon Roley’s Novel American Son. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from
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Good Example Of Research Paper On The Theme Of Passing In Brian Ascalon Roley’s Novel American Son. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 09, 2020. Accessed June 15, 2024.

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