The Development of two Social Topics in the Novel “America is in the Heart” and in the Poem “You Bring out the Writer in me”
The novel “America is in the heart” is written by an English-speaking Philippine poet and novelist Carlos Bulosan. It has been published in 1946. This novel is often subtitled “A personal history,” which means that it is a semi-autobiographical novel. The primary theme highlighted in the book concerns Asian immigrants, particularly Filipinos, and their life in the USA. The stories from the author’s life are presented in which Bulosan describes racism, social injustice, and cultural intolerance in America.
Nevertheless, fundamental democratic principles are supported by the main character who believes in America and wishes to understand it. Carlos Bulosan’s novel stresses an important role of immigrants from different countries in the process of development of a “new America.” Despite the fact that “America is in the heart” highlights a variety of different issues, including the problem of migrants in the USA, agriculture in the Philippines, the relations between people of different nations, and racial prejudice, the topic of cultural and ethnic identity holds a specific place in Bulosan’s novel.The poem “You bring out the writer in me” is another example of literary writing in which a major theme of social significance is disclosed vividly. The verse is written by Regie Cabico, an American writer of Filipino descent.
Cabico prefers disclosing challenging topics. The writer is sometimes compared to Lady Gaga in his promotion of the issue of gender and sexuality. More than that, other kinds of art are characteristic of Regie Cabico. For example, he calls himself a theater artist, an editor, a stand-up comedian, a monologist, a storyteller, and a teacher. The poet, being a gay man, speculates on the above-mentioned problem in the majority of his works, and “You bring out the writer in me” is not an exception.Both Carlos Bulosan and Regie Cabico express their devotion to the community. For Bulosan, it is the Asian-American community in general and the Filipino community in particular, for Cabico – queer and spoken word communities.
This devotion is expressed in the book in a more vivid way, though Cabico’s commitment to the above mentioned communities can be traced in his poem as well.There are several supportive topics referring to a general theme of cultural and ethnic identity discussed in the book “America is in the heart.” First of all, different customs and rituals typical for the Filipino community are described, including, for example, some marriage traditions and the process of cockfighting. Moreover, education is quite important for cultural identity of Filipinos. Education as the subtopic is first and foremost embodied with the help of the main character’s brother Macario who is sent by his family to study at school and to get the free education that the USA has introduced in the Philippines.
The family pools its resources for the son’s studying because it is really meaningful to them. When there is …