Chapter 5 Summary

The fifth chapter, “Henry Ford’s English-Language Melting Pot,” begins with Lefty and Desdemona on their way to Detroit. They first must pass through Ellis Island, where the immigrants have letters, such as “Pg” for “pregnant,” chalked onto their clothing. Dr. Philobosian has an “X” chalked on him when a doctor notices that his eyes are inflamed. There are many letters to denote diseases, such as “C” for conjunctivitis. Desdemona’s immigrant braids, which are still tied with ribbons of mourning, are cut off at the YWCA. Lefty thinks it makes her look like an American woman, but Desdemona replies that she does not want to look like an American. She puts her braids into her silkworm box, which is now empty...

(The entire section is 679 words.)