America is in the Heart
“America is in the heart” is written by an English-speaking Philippine writer Carlos Bulosan and is published in 1946 for the first time. The book is often subtitled “A personal history” and is considered as semi-autobiographical novel. The main topic of the book is the life of Asian immigrants in the USA, especially Filipinos. Bulosan recollects the stories from his own life and describes how he faced racism, social injustice, cultural intolerance, and simply snub in America. At the same time, the author shares fundamental democratic principles and believes in building America where all people, regardless of their skin color, religious beliefs, and social positions, will live happily. “America is in the heart” underlines the significant role of immigrants in the development of a “new America.”
Chapters from XIX to XXV embrace the main character’s stories witnessing social injustice in the USA. The author emphasizes that “white people” express discrimination towards Filipinos. The majority of striking examples are connected with refusals to serve Filipinos in restaurants and cafes. He that will not work shall not eat, – a proverb runs fairly. But Filipinos and other Asian immigrants work. They pick peas, figs, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, they lift ice blocks, they wash the dishes, and still they do not receive proper treatment. Besides, prejudicial treatment towards Filipinos is depicted in the book by means of slanderous expressions which are used by Americans, namely, “brown monkeys”, “a bastard”, “goo-goo”, “a barbarian”, and others. Apart from this, it is shown that discrimination against Filipinos sparks racial conflicts, and Asian immigrants start “hating and fearing white men.”Nevertheless, there are hopes in the novel that America can be different. The paradox of America is vividly shown in the novel as in the case of Carlos’s friend Jose who did no harm to anyone but was injured. Surprisingly, tolerance and medical care were found in the hospital where ordinary “white American people” worked.
According to Dulce-Maria Flecha (n.d.), “America is in the heart” shows racism that is used as a condition for prejudice towards minorities. America does not greet immigrants. Instead, they are offered numerous gambling houses where Filipinos, Japanese and other Asian migrants lose their earnings. On the contrary, there is another side of the American paradox. There are some characters of the novel, primarily these are women, who do not follow traditions of racial and social prejudice and help Carlos and his friends treating them without any stigma.A concept of America as a new world is explained by the main character’s brother Macario who believes in fair attitude to Filipinos and other minorities in the future. The main idea of Macario’s dialogue is that America is in the heart of those people who live there and who believe in the country. A primary goal of people suffering from prejudice and sacrifice is reaching freedom through democratic ideals. A united front which they intend to create presupposes, first and foremost, cultivating the idea of building a new America where all people, …