93 pages 3 hours read

America Ferrera

American Like Me

Nonfiction | Essay Collection | Adult | Published in 2018

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Symbols & Motifs

The American Dream

The American dream is a motif that appears throughout the essay collection, and it’s a symbol of what lies in wait for those who choose to immigrate to the US. “American” here is a misnomer, however, as America is large—it includes both Central and South America (although many, especially those in the US, neglect to remember this). For most, however, the American dream symbolizes the possibility of freedom, safety, and fortune in the US if one works hard enough to obtain it. A belief in the American dream has brought countless immigrants to the US and made the US a better place. Unfortunately, the current iteration of the American dream often hides strains of nationalism and American exceptionalism that can play out in racist and xenophobic ways despite the term’s earlier origins of a dream for anyone who sought it.

Melting Pot

Melting pot is a term that describes the US’s multiculturalism. Americans used the term as a positive attribute to show how accepting of others the country was. With the discourse and actions surrounding civil rights and racism in 2020, however, many believe the US isn’t as welcoming nor accepting of multiculturalism as it claims to be.