Monday, August 18, 2014

Distance Between Us Artifact 4

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Neil Diamond's America is one of the most popular songs about immigration to America.  The song itself is not about a single person's journey to America, nor an event that occurred with immigration into America. It is more about America: A place people come to live their dreams and be free.  His song talks about the sacrifice that people must go through to come to America, they must leave there home far away in search of a better life.  His song is basically the American dream that many have died fighting for.

The first stanza of his song is "Far, We've been traveling far Without a home But not without a star".  To me this means that they have been traveling very far to reach America,  that their own country never felt like a home, that their real home will be America.  Reyna never really felt this way.  For most of the book, Reyna believed that her home was in Mexico where her umbilical cord was buried.  However, Mago felt this way.  America was the place that was her home, she tried to get rid of everything that was Mexican about her, she got rid of her 'wetback' accent, she refused to wear hammy down clothes from the nursing home, and she bought a new car.  His next stanza is "Free, Only want to be free We huddle close Hang on to a dream".  This stanza can be interpreted many ways, but to me, this most is likely talking about wanting to be free of violence, and poverty.  One of the reasons that Reyna's parents left was to help free them of poverty.  A common way people are smuggled here is in the back truck, or in trunks, I believe this is what "Huddled close to hang onto a dream" means.

The following stanza is "On the boats and on the planes They're coming to America Never looking back again, They're coming to America"  These verses are self explanatory.  "Never looking back again" Applies to Mago which I discussed earlier, as she tried to become an American, and forget her Mexican past.  Reyna and Carlos, always held onto to a bit of their Mexican Heritage, while still trying to embrace America. His next stanza is  "Home Don't it seem so far away Oh, we're traveling light today In the eye of the storm in the eye of the storm".  This means to me that either America, their home as in america is to still far away, or their home as in birthplace is far away.  They can bring very few items with them. I believe that the eye of the storm is the border.  This relates to Reyna's whole family, when the coyote took them across the border, they had to bring very few things, and it was the most excitingly hard time of their journey.

The next stanza is "Home, To a new and a shiny place Make our bed and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm Freedom's light burning warm"  This stanza describes the expectations that Carlos, Mago, and Reyna had for America, a place that was amazing in every way: A place with no poverty.  The third to last stanza is "Got a dream to take them there They're coming to America Got a dream they've come to share They're coming to America".  This was the reason that first her father and mother left, then Reyna, and her siblings: They dreamt of a better life, for them and there family.  The song has two more stanzas, but they mostly reiterate information that is already present, or are there solely for melody.

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