In "Be American," Carlos Bulosan described how his cousin, Consorcio, became an "American."  Is there a defining moment or characteristic that marked this transformation? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that in Bulosan's "Be American," there are some specific moment sin which Consorcio became "an American."  The mere act of "wanting" to be an American is distinctive in Consorcio's transformation.  When his cousin speaks of the nuances and challenges present, Consorcio demonstrates a critical moment of wanting to become an American through his sense of immediacy: "But I want to be American right away.  On the boat I say, 'Consorcio stoody Engleesh right away.'  Good ideeyas, eh, cousin?"  The sense of immediacy and instant gratification embodies an instant in which Bulosan demonstrates a critical aspect of being American.  This condition of immediacy is also emphasized in how Consorcio has spent his "mony" on books specifically with the desire to become "an American faster:"  "No good law.  One year enough for Consorcio. He make good American citizen."  Bulosan displays how the sense of instant gratification is a part of what it means to be an American.

Consorcio's transformation into being American is defined in large part in the speed with which he wants to become immersed in the culture.  He does not want to wait.  For him, America is associated with speed and instant gratification.  Conorcio's transformation into being American is defined in large part by speed and immediacy.  In being American, Consorcio does not display a sense of waiting and delay.  Consorcio defines his transformation into being American with a sense of urgency and a sense of speed that he appropriates into his own sense of being.

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