Posted by: Jusuchin (Military Otaku) | 04/05/2010

Blog Post #9 – Late

Of Mice and Immigration; or Justin Fondly Remembers Fievel.

-more after the jump-

Last week we watched An American Tail, a movie that I haven’t seen in a long time. The story is about a mouse and…wait, why am I writing about the story? The history man, the history! Anyways, it was a particularly interesting take on European immigration. It is hopeful yet realistic in a way, showing that while the European mice dream of a new beginning in America, where there are no enforcers or various undesirable authority figures.

Oh boy, nice surprise eh? The cats in America to me seemed at first the nativists, who were opposed to immigration on the basis of these pervasive cultures coming to America, their inability to be ‘American’. This brings to mind what Woodrow Wilson said about them, that “any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready.” Try as they might to be American, the Mousekewitz family are trapped into a life of destitution that doesn’t seem all that better than their life in Russia. Meanwhile, a female mouse that was seen speaking up in the marketplace is similar to the activists who understood the plight of the immigrants. In the scene where we are introduced to the main anatagonist, we see conmen trying to convince the newly arrived immigrants to buy seemingly important pieces of Americana, such as the apple and used ticket to Chicago. There is also the fact that Fievel was sent to work in the sweatshops.

In the end, we see the eventual reuniting of Fievel and his family, but the film also had many accurate depictions of immigration into the United States, namely that of New York, where the great majority came from. Although I want to know, when exactly are we going to see a similar story about Chinese immigration during this time period?

Short post is short.


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