Mikkelsen, Ann. “From Sympathy to Empathy: Anzia Yezierska and the Transformation of the American Subject.” American Literature (June. Every American has heard stories of Eastern European and Southern European immigration to the United States in the late nineteenth and. short stories of Anzia Yezierska. I will show that remains invested in a vision of. America where sympathetic affective bonds serve as the primary solution.

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Every American has heard stories of Eastern European and Southern European immigration to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The stories are legion, the images unforgettable. Without a doubt, every American needs to visit Ellis Island at least once. There is so much to see, touch, feel, explore — and so many, many stories to hear as you listen to the headphones on your self-guided tour.

America and I |

This outstanding, award-winning museum was created when construction workers uncovered a boarded-up, untouched tenement building. The tenement was home to nearly 7, immigrants.


Visitors to the museum tour the four apartments, each telling the story of a different family who actually lived in k building. All of these resources are great ways to learn about immigration, but this week I want to pay homage to one particular immigrant: Born in the s, Yezierska immigrated with her Jewish family to the United States in the early s.

When she goes to a vocational counselor, she is told anzka she should become the best shirtwaist maker she can be and slowly rise from job to job. All day long, only with my hands I work.

Ultimately, Yezierska was able to work with her head, her feelings. She mastered the English language and began to write novels, short stories, and autobiographical essays. Like many others, I have often bemoaned the plight of the immigrants who flooded through Ellis Island, crowded amdrica the tenements of the Lower East Side, and toiled in sweatshops like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory the site of one of the deadliest industrial accidents in American amerjca.

How wretched their lives must have been, I have thought more than once. But a dear friend who is descended from Italian immigrants to New York tells me that he thinks the immigrants were quite successful.


Their great-grandson is now a professor at a liberal arts college in New York City. Such rapid success is, to my friend, mind-boggling!

Anzia Yezierska: “America and I”

She ended up earning a scholarship to Columbia University and was later involved in a romantic relationship with Columbia professor John Dewey.

You can read about their relationship in Love in the Promised Land: In From Hester Street to Hollywood: Play in new window Download. I love stories about European immigrants. I will be reading some of these works for sure. Thanks for another great StoryWeb, Bonnie. Home About Why Stories? StoryWeb Storytime for Grownups. See image credit below. The clip runs 31 minutes.

You can follow along here. Listen to the amerifa August 8, at 9: Speak Your Mind Cancel reply Your email address will not be published on the site.