Essay on Ernesto Galarza's Barrio Boy and Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

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Ernesto Galarza's Barrio Boy and Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

In both pieces of literature; "Barrio Boy," by Ernesto Galarza and "The Joy Luck Club," by Amy Tan; the authors portray families and their struggle with language barriers, even within their own families, adapting to the customs and routines of the North American society, and how the younger family members succeeded in school, work, and relationships.

In Amy Tan’s book "The Joy Luck Club," the theme of the "American Dream," which is the belief that America is a guaranteed land of opportunity, of success and happiness is the main theme in the story. It is of women who set off on a journey because in their own country they were suffering through many hardships, like war and shame from their own family in China. Much like Ernesto Galarza’s book, "Barrio Boy," his family and Ernesto experience a revolution in Mexico, their home country. The hardships of having to move from city to city in Mexico was tough on the family since they basically needed to start from scratch and ask for favors from other family members if they could stay under their roofs. In Amy Tan’s book, Lena one of the immigrant’s child is only 10 years old when her father is promoted. He moves the family across the bay to San Francisco, where they take an apartment at the top of a steep hill. Lena’s mother is not happy with the apartment; she feels that it is "not balanced," and that all their good luck will vanish.

In "Barrio Boy," when a c...

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