wielka emigracja; Jewish immigrant; great migration; literatura amerykańska; american literature; Mary Antin
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
T. Pyzik, A. Woźniakowska (red.), "Wielkie tematy literatury amerykańskiej. T. 5, Podróże, wędrówki, włóczęgi" (S. 82-91). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
For the Jewish immigrant wanderers who joined the “great” migration and reached American
shores between 1870—1913, the journey to America did not constitute a simple transition
from one place to another but led to transformations in the social, mental, cultural and
emotional aspects of their personalities, and often was depicted in the immigrant literature.
Nevertheless, the actual trip to America was in fact also the beginning of the immigrant
journey of self-discovery, accompanied by a complex process of assimilation. Therefore, the
aim of the article is to comment upon the route of exploration of the self as presented in
a biographical book The Promised Land, written by a Jewish immigrant writer Mary Antin,
who moves back and forth across cultural and physical barriers and undergoes a deep, personal
transformation from an outcast, a shtetl child and a dislocated immigrant to an educated,
assimilated and privileged American citizen. Antin’s inner transformation takes place gradually
in the form of apostasies both from Judaism and Jewish traditions, and corresponds to
a journey towards literacy and individuality.