America Is In the Heart through Chapter 12 (XII)


In the text, America Is In the Heart through Chapter 12 by Carlos Bulosan has themes of finding beauty in despair and racism and American identity. In finding beauty in despair, Bulosan is seen struggling to reconcile the supposed commitment to equality and liberty in America with the harsh truth of the society that promotes racism against other races such as Filipinos. Besides, in the theme of racism and American identity, Bulosan argues that American identity has been intricately linked with race, and the majority white population tends to degrades other races such as Filipinos, an aspect that permits assaults to Filipinos and denial of basic legal rights.

The pacing is somewhat medium. Bulosan intertwines the themes of beauty in despair and racism and American identity in medium pacing by wisely choosing words and the story’s plot. For instance, Bulosan depicts Carlos briefly working with Macario in a home belonging to a rich movie director, but only leaves in disgust just after the gentleman’s white dinner guests define Filipino’s as sex-crazed and inferior. Both themes are clearly seen in the statement above. This aspect also means the story intertwines both themes together and allows the reader to understand these two major themes.

In summary, by reflecting on what two other students have argued, they have argued that Busosan discusses the theme of poverty through chapter 12. I agree with both students since other than the themes, poverty and necessity of education is depicted when the author discusses his family hardships. Chiang on pacing argues that the story is medium, as I have also commented about the story’s pacing.

The second student, Glover, has identified several themes, such as hardship and poverty, among others. I agree with Glover since Bulosan mentions hardship and poverty on his struggles and the family they had undergone to make money and take care of family problems. I agree with Glover on pacing since it is true that the pacing is steady since Bulosan is descriptive to make it easier to understand the setting and the characters.


Grapes of Wrath through Chapter 10

In the Grapes of Wrath through Chapter 10, by John Steinbeck, themes of Honor, Dignity, and Wrath and Humanity, Dehumanization, and Inhumanity are evident. For instance, in the theme of Honor, Dignity, and wrath, they are presented as exceptionally conscious of preserving their great honor despite the destitution of Okies. Again, without Joads considering how terrible their situations are, they are reluctant to bend down to tolerating stealing or charity. On the other hand, the theme of Humanity, Inhumanity, and Dehumanization in the text, the cruelest adversity that Joads experience does not come from their unforgiving inborn circumstances of the dustbowl but rather Okie community and the Joads receive the harshest treatment from the people who are most able to help them since they are mostly more privileged individuals, generally, the people wielding the institutional power.

The pacing of the novel seems slow. Making the pacing to be slow means that John Steinbeck makes The Grapes of Wrath to be read as a common novel, which advocates for social change by displaying the prejudiced working conditions most migrants experience on their arrival to California. This aspect is further shown when Steinbeck presents the men owning the land in California as the people holding power who attempt to regulate supply and demand to get away with payment of poor wages.

Further, on reflecting on what two other students had to say about this novel, the first student agrees that power, capitalism, money, and poverty are mostly themes discussed in the novel. Although these seem to be minor themes as discussed by the author, I partially consent with their argument that the novel reveals how generations of people are pushed by powerful and wealthy people away for land acquisition.

I also agree with student Ouyang that the pacing of the story is pretty slow. This status is because both students appreciate how the author has attempted to supplement some short descriptive chapters within the storyline’s umbrella to help readers create an image of the novel’s plot and setting.






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