Carlos Bulosan

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Discussion Topics

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How does the narrator of Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart find his own identity?

Which institutions (the church, the police, and so on) help his growth? Which ones hinder it?

List all the incidents of violence, cruelty, and racial discrimination in the novel. What patterns do they reveal?

Is this a story of assimilation into the American mainstream? How so?

Where does Allos finally find community? Who helps him the most?

Compare this work with other books about writers coming of age, such as James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) or Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919). What do they have in common?


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Suggested Readings

Evangelista, Susan, ed. Carlos Bulosan and His Poetry: A Biography and Anthology. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1985.

San Juan, E., Jr. Carlos Bulosan and the Imagination of the Class Struggle. New York: Oriole Editions, 1976.

San Juan, E., Jr., ed. Introduction to Modern Pilipino Literature. New York: Twayne, 1974.

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Critical Essays