For my visual representation of this movie I chose a photo of the Statue of Liberty. I think it fits quite well into this time period’s historical context, because the Statue of Liberty served as a symbol of friendship between the Americans and the French. The statue was built as a joint effort by two famous sculptors (one from from France and the other from the US). For years after it was built, it served as a reassuring sign for the immigrants that they had reached the ”land of their dreams”. It was a symbol of hope for the thousands of immigrants who escaped the Great War, looking for a better life in the Americas. The woman with the raised torch also represented freedom and enlightenment for the immigrants. The statue was built in France, dismantled into 340 individual pieces and shipped to New York in 214 crates, where it was built back together on a new pedestal, 110 years after the Declaration of Independence.
The fourth movie we watched was a bit different from the previous movies. Even though during that time period there was the Great War, we didn’t see a single soldier in the scenes. The movie however, showed the war from a viewpoint of an immigrant who tried to escape the difficulities in her homeland, only to face even greater ones when arriving in New York.
’’Showcasing a handsome reproduction of early 1920’s New York, Gray’s film is a very sympathetic portrait of the burden of immigrant life.’’https://www.imdb.com/review/rw3052863/?ref_=tt_urv
Personally, I think the portrayal of the burden of immigrant life made this movie a lot more interesting. Through seeing what the immigrants had to go thorugh, in order to get their life back on track, I was able to really open my eyes and gain a new outlook on the miserable way of life millions of people had to endure. For example, in the beginning of the movie we could see the immigrants sitting in the registration hall, each of them tagged with a white piece of paper. One every piece of paper, there was a number that would later on serve as the identity of the immigrant when going through an inspection that decided their future. Many of the immigrants were sent to the medical facilities including Ewa’s sister Magda.
The burden didn’t stop outside of the walls of Ellis Island. After being set free, lots of the immigrants (including Ewa) sruggled to earn money to get on with their former way of life. Having lost close family members, it was even more difficult for the immigrants, but the thought of saving her sister one day motivated Ewa into doing whatever she could to aid in her freedom.
‘’Rather, what makes The Immigrant a great film is the way in which Gray uses actors and his mastery of the unspoken to create a tremendously lived-in, felt-through world. Every space—public or private, interior or exterior—feels authentic, historically and emotionally. ‘’https://film.avclub.com/james-gray-s-the-immigrant-is-an-american-masterpiece-1798180525
I can somewhat agree with this viewpoint. The director of this movie did an amazing job by bringing the audience closer to the historical time period, using detailed scenery and showing the underside of 20th century New York. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie was the lack of character development. When watching this movie, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters and I would’ve loved to learn some more about their personalities.
In conclusion, this movie shows history through a different approach (compared tho the previous ones). It’s an emotional and dramatic masterpiece, showing the difficulities that war brought along. I found this movie quite interesting and watching it was enjoyable, but putting more effort into developing relationships in this movie would’ve made it even better.
Discovery of gold and gold mining
In January 1848, James Wilson Mashall found flakes of gold in the American River near Coloma, California. At the time, Marshall was working to build a water-powered sawmill owned by John Sutter. At first, they tried to keep the discovery a secret, but the word got out and newspapers started reporting that large quantities of gold were turning up at Sutter’s Mill.
His discovery set the beginning stages of immigrants fleeing to California. By June, 75% of the males in San Francisco had left the town for gold mines. Throughout 1849, people around the US did all they could to travel to California ( in pursuit of the wealth they left their families and hometowns behind) – these people were known as ‘49ers.
By the end of 1849, the population of California had risen from 20 000 to 100 000. Gold mining towns sprung up all over the region. These tows srarted out as tent camps, but grew as more people arrived and more businesses were set up. Overcrowding caused chaos in the mining camps – towns grew lawless, crime, prostitituon, violence. The presence of immigrants forced the Native Americans into starvation, because the 49ers took over their food supply and claimed it for themselves as they began hunting on Indian land.
The Gold Rush sped up California’s admission the the Union as the 31st state. According to the Compromise of 1850, California was allowed to enter as a free state.
The construction of railroads
Before, it cost 1000 dollars to travel between California and New York, but with the constrution of the Transcontinental Railroad, the price dropped to 150, and the trip took a week. When railroads abled Americans to travel more easily, they were able exchange ideas and conduct business with each other (goods moved faster and cheaper).
The Native American way of live however, was severely damaged. The railroads pushed through tribal lands and many natural resources were destroyed.
The Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad was the eastern half of the Transcontinental Railroad. Construction started in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1864, but there were not many workers available, because so many men were still fighting in the Civil War. Once the war ended, the construction of the 1087 miles of track began. The railroad linked with existing railroads from the east and with the Central Pacific Railroad
The Central Pacific Railroad
Construction on the Central Pacific started in Sacramento, California, in 1863. It covered only 690 miles (from California to Utah). The railroad went through a mountain range Sierra Nevada, and workers had to blast 15 tunnels through the mountains. There were days when workers only made two or three inches of progress, but the construction sped up when they started using nitroglycerin.
Before 1880, industrialization depended un division of labor, but after 1880, it depended on mechanization (the replacement of people with machines)
America’s rich natural resources contributed to economic growth. The nation’s water supply helped power industrial machines. The larger cities in the Northeast developed the fastest. Cotton textile factories were built in Massachusetts and New Bedford. Chicago made its name processing grain and lumber. Meat processing became such an enormous industry that most of the meat the Americans ate was processed in the city. Iron and coal mines were built and used for powering factory machines, iron for building machines and buildings, steel for railroads.
The South fell behind on industrial expansion, but caught up in the 20th century. Some industry developed, but the South remained mostly agricultural throughout industrialization. Birmingham, Alabama, for example flourished as a center for iron and steel manufacturing. Growth of cotton mills in California began in the 1870s. After the 20th century, textile industry spread.
Formation of Trusts
There were several giant businesses known as ‘’trusts’’, that controlled whole sections of the economy. Two of the most famous trusts were US Steel and Standard Oil.
- Formed by John D. Rockefeller
- Controlled almost all oil production, processing and marketing
- Fcaed many legal issues after the Sherman Antitrust Act
- Was forced to break up into seven state comapnies ‘’Seven Sisters’’
- Formed by several businessmen
- Charles M Schwab – president
- Was capitalized at 1.4 billion, the first billion-dollar corporation in American History
- Absorbed many companies
When one company controlled an entire industry, there was less competition. People had no choice who to buy from and prices went higher. This made the public go angry and demand the government to take action.
President Theodore Roosevelt broke up many trusts with ‘’antitrust’’ laws. The goal of these laws was to protect consumers and promote competition in the marketplace.
The Sherman Act – illegalized agreements that would limit competition (price fixing)
The Clayton Act – stopped companies from merging into one big company
Federal Trade Commission Act – federal agency to watch out for unfair business practices
- American industrialist and philanthrophist
- Worked in a Pittsburgh cotton factory (earning 1.20/week)
- Worked in Pennsyavania Railroad as the assistant to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials
- Became a superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1859
- Invested in iron and oil companies while working for the railroad
- By 1889, he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation (largest steel company in the world)
- In 1901, he sold his business and dedicated his time to philantrophy
- Established the Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904
John D. Rockerfeller
- founder of The Standard Oil Company (SOC) in 1870
- Became one of the world’s wealthiest men, major philanthropist
- Born in New York, entered the oil business by invensting in a Cleveland refinery
- SOC controlled 90% of US refineries
- Was accused of colluding with railroads to eliminate his competitors
- In 1911, US Supreme Court ordered SOC to be dissolved, in violation of anti-trust laws
- During his life, he donated more than 500 million to philanthrophy
- Grew up in Michingan, 1863
- At the age of 16, left home for Detroit to work as a machinist
- Returned home to work on the family farm after three years
- In 1891, he returned with his wife to Detroit
- Was hired an an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company(EIC)
- Promoted chief engineer 2 years later
- Spent many hours to build a gasoline-powered horseless carriage, or automobile
- In 1896, completed the ‘’Quadricycle’’ – metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels powered by a gasoline engine
- In 1902, established his Ford Motor Company
- A month after, the first Ford car was assmebled in Detroit (model T)
- Assmebly process was slow and cars were built by hand
- Ford introduced new mass-production methods, including large production plants, use of interchangeable parts and the world’s first moving assembly line for cars
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was a joint effort between the French and Americans(symbol of friendship)
Work on the culpture began in 1875, by the French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi.
‘’Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World’’ – a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet in her left, upon which was engraved July 4,1776
Bartholdi hammered large copper sheets to create the statue’s ‘’skin’’, modelled the sculpture’s face after the face of his mother. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel assembled the statue’s steel framework.
The construcion started in France, but fundraising efforts continued in the US. In 1885, Bartholdi completed the statue, it was disassembled and shipped to New York in more then 200 crates. Over the next months, workers reassembled the statue and mounted it on the pedestal, which was build in Bedloe’s Island.
Causes of immigration from Europe in the 19th Century
- Mass industrialization drew many job-seeking immigrants into the US
- Bad conditions in home countires ( revolutions, famine)
- 600 000 Italians migrated to America, over 2 million Jews fleed religious persecution
Different Waves of immigration
Irish Immigrant Wave
- Immigration form Western Europe that lasts until the Civil War
- 1820-1860, one third of the US immigrants were from Ireland
- 5 million German immigrants migrated to Midwest to buy farms and gather into cities
- Many immigrants arrived in bad conditions from their long journey
- In response, the US passed the Steerage Act of 1819 requiring better conditions on ships arriving in the country
Second Wave 1880-1920
- more than 20 million immigrants arrive from Southern, Eastern and Central Europe
- 4 million Italians, 2 million Jews
- many settle inmajor cities to work in factories
- 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act passes, which bars Chinese immigrants from entering the US
- From the 1850, a steady flow of Chinese workers immigrated to America
- Worked in gold mines, factories and built railroads
- The 1882 act was the first act to place restrictions on certain immigrant groups
- 1891, the Immigration act barred the immigration of criminals and the sick and diseased
Jews left Germany becasue of persecution, restrictive laws, economic hardship, and the failure of movements advocating reform and revolution there. They looked to America as a place for economic and social opportunity.
Easter European Jews immigrated to the US due to overpopulation, oppressive legislation and poverty. They looked for financial and social advancement. Between 1880 and 1924, over 2 million Jews came to America.
The immigrants settled in poorer neighborhoods of major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago). Living conditions were cramped, immigrants worked in garment industries, cigar manufacturies and construction sites.
After the Civil War, control of immigration was turned to the federal government, and the first federal immigration station was built. The Ellis Island Immigration Station officially opens on January 1, 1892. Nearly 450,000 immigrants passed thorugh Ellis Island the first year.
The immigrants were tagged, had to go through long physical and legal examinations and an interview. People who were ill or failed to answer the questions correctly were sent back to their home contry.
29 questions were asked form each immigrant, including: Where were you born? Are you married? What is your occupation? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? How much money do you have? What is your destination?
In 1897, a fire broke out in one of the towers and the roof collapsed. The station was relocated to manhattan’s Battery Park and the new facility was opened in December.
Reed-Johnson Immigration Act of 1924
The Act limited the number of immigrants allowed to enter the US. Yhe number of immigrants was restricted to 2% of the number of residents from that same country lining in the US. The law completely excluded immigrants from Asia.
The clear aim of this law was to restrict the entry of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, while welcoming relatively large numbers of newcomers from Britain, Ireland, and Northern Europe.
Melting Pot and Salad Bowl
- Fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures into a new race of man
- with time, generations of immigrants have melted together (abandoned their cultures to assimilate into American society)
- No cultural diversity, differences aren’t often respected
- People from different countries live in harmony, just like the components of a salad harmonize each other, but they don’t mix or combine
- Each culture keeps its own qualities, providing a sense of belonging
- On the other hand, cultures don’t mix at all and some people spend their entire lives living in multicultural cities without learning the country’s language
The overall immigrant population continues to grow, but at a slower rate than before the 2007-09 recession. Recent immigrants are more likely to be from Asia than from Mexico, and are also more likely to have a college degree. The size of the unauthorized population appears to be on the decline. Deportations from within the United States are rising. And the United States in 2018 resettled the smallest number of refugees since formal creation of the refugee resettlement program in 1980. More than 44.5 million immigrants resided in the United States in 2017 and one in seven U.S. residents is foreign born
- Industrialisation stimulated urbanization, causing cities to grow both in population and physical size
- Industrial factories were built near bigger cities, whch meant that cities grew much faster
- New York expanded from Half a million to 3.5 million in 50 years
- Philadelphia increased from 100 000 inhabitants to 1.2 million in the same period
- The US grew from around 10 million in 1870 to more than 30 million in 1900
- As population grew, buldings had to grow up instead of out.
- After the mid-1880s it became easier to build taller buildings because steel companies mass produced steel
- First subway systems
Most poor people, as well as immigrants lived in overcrowded slums or tenements. 5-9 people lived in a single room which was as big as an apartment. Diseases spread, lack of medicine and medical care, death rates raised. Cholera, yellow-fever, and tubercolosis were the main killers. Almost 25% of babies born in late-19th century cities died before reaching the age of one. Although sewage systems were improving, the cities smelled and sewage was dropped in the river and the trash was dumped in the streets. Poverty and crime were common (gangs roamed the streets). People fell to gambling, prostitution, and alcoholism.
Grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. They fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. Tried to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to injured workers.
First successful improvement: 1868 a coalition of workers called the National Labor Union succeedes in convincing Congress to establish an 8-hour work day for federal employees
An effort to cure many of the ills of American society that had developed during the great spurt of industrial growth in the last quarter of the 19th century. The struggle for women’s rights and the temperance movement (encouraged moderation in ghe consumption og intoxicatig liquors) were the initial issues.
Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency was a driving force for the movement. He strived to reconcile labor and business through Progressive legislation. Under Roosevelt’s leadership, the attorney general brought 44 suits against business monopolies. These suits were largely successful: Standard Oil was dispersed into 30 smaller companies that eventually competed with one another. Roosevelt’s successful campaign against corporate monopolies earned him the nickname “Trust Buster.
An American Empire
The Philippines became the first U.S. colony after Spain ceded the islands for $20 million in 1898. The Spanish-American War lasted only six weeks and resulted in a decisive victory for the United States. Future US president Theodore Roosevelt rose to national prominence due to his role in the conflict. As a result of the war, the United States acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines as territories. Among the two most prominent reasons for the war were the ongoing Cuban and Filipino struggle against Spanish rule, and the explosion of the battleship U.S.S. Maine, killing 268 men.
The term “Dollar Diplomacy” refers to the use of diplomacy to promote the United States commercial interest and economic power abroad by guaranteeing loans made to strategically important foreign countries.
- To create stability and order abroa
- To improve financial opportunities for US banking corporations
- To encourage banks to invest their dollars into foreign areas of strategic concern to the US
- To further the economic power of the United States and promote trade in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and East Asia
- To prevent foreign powers from gaining, or increasing, their financial foothold in key markets
- Failed to counteract economic and political instability
- Failed to start the wave of revolution in places like Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Nicaraguafailed to realize profits for American business
- The United States had to send troops to protect American investments.
- Other attempts at dollar diplomacy in Mexico and China also failed to avert revolutions in these countries
- Was strongly opposed by the growing tide of anti-imperialism
- The next U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, attempted to reverse most of Taft’s foreign policy
- By James Monroe, December 2, 1823
- Declared that the Old World and New World had different systems and must remain distinct spheres
- The US would not interfere in the internal affairs of or the wats between European powers
- The US would not interfere with existing colonies in the Western Hemisphere
- The Western Hemisphere was closed to future colonization
- Any attempt by a European power to control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the United States.
The US in WW I
Although the U.S. tried to remain neutral when WWI broke out, it finally joined on April 6, 1917 after declaring war on Germany. The reason for America to become involved in WWI was Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare, which had already sunk several American merchant ships. The U.S. was initially contributed to the war by supplying raw material, supplies and money. American soldiers first arrived to the Western Front by the summer of 1918 and by the end of the war, over 4,000,000 U.S. military personnel had been mobilized. 110,000 Americans died during WW1, of which 43,000 lost their lives in the influenza pandemic.
How the U.S. contributed to WW1
- Supplying raw materials, arms and other supplies.
- The U.S. actually saved Britain and some other Allied powers from bankruptcy by joining the war. Previously, Britain and its allies used to buy supplies from the U.S. amounting to over 75 billion dollar per week.
- Providing soldiers and military personnel to fight on the side of allies.
- Reinforcing the Allies’ strength of the naval blockade of Germany
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was the primary treaty produced by the Paris Peace Conference at the end of WWI. It was signed on June 28, 1919, by the Allied and associated powers and by Germany in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles and went into effect on January 10, 1920. The treaty gave some German territories to neighbouring countries and placed other German territories under international supervision. In addition, Germany was stripped of its overseas colonies, its military capabilities were severely restricted, and it was required to pay war reparations to the Allied countries. The treaty also created the League of Nations.
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an international diplomatic group developed after World War I as a way to solve disputes between countries before they erupted into open warfare. A precursor to the United Nations, the League achieved some victories but had a mixed record of success, sometimes putting self-interest before becoming involved with conflict resolution, while also contending with governments that did not recognize its authority. The League effectively ceased operations during World War II.
What was the League of Nations?
- The League of Nations has its origins in the Fourteen points speech of President Woodrow Wilson, part of a presentation given in January 1918 outlining of his ideas for peace after WWI.
- Wilson envisioned an organization that was charged with resolving conflicts before they exploded into bloodshed and warfare.
- By December of the same year, Wilson left for Paris to transform his 14 Points into what would become the Treaty of Versailles.
- Seven months later, he returned to the United States with a treaty that included the idea for what became the League of Nations.
In the first scenes of the movie, we could see the statue of liberty in the distance. What was its purpose in the context of this movie?
Between 1886 and 1924, almost 14 million immigrants entered the United States through New York. The Statue of Liberty was a reassuring sign that they had arrived in the land of their dreams. To these anxious newcomers, the Statue’s uplifted torch did not suggest “enlightenment,” as her creators intended, but rather, “welcome.” Over time, Liberty emerged as the “Mother of Exiles,” a symbol of hope to generations of immigrants.
As we saw in the movie, Ewa arrived with her sister Magda on the Ellis Island immigrant Station. Why were they there? (where did they come from?) what happened to their other family members? Which wave of immigration did they arrive with?
They migrated from Poland to New York to escape the Great war and look for a better life. Their home was destroyed and parents were killed by soldiers, but their aunt and uncle lived in New York and the sisters were supposed to go and live with them. They arrived with the third wave of immigration?
Why was Ewa worried about her sister’s condition? What happened to her sister?
Ewa was worried that her sister wouldn’t pass the strict medical examinations. When the inspector listened her lungs, he said that she might have tuberculosis and has to be examined further. She would be kept in the Ellis Island hospital for 6 months and if she didn’t improve at that time she would be deported back to Poland.
When Ewa was interviewed, she failed to ask one question. What question? What was the outcome?
The officer asked her if she had committed a crime or not. Ewa said no, but she was told her answer is incorrect. It was written on the papers that on the voyage to America, Eva prostituted herself (the truth, revealed later, is that she was raped). After failing to answer the question, she was sent so be deported back to Poland. (her family’s address was also said to be inexistent).
Why did officers in the Ellis Island call Ewa a girl with low morals?
They thought that she had prostituted herself to the men on the boat. But as it comes out from the movie, this statement is not true at all, she has high morals (as being a Catholic).
How did Bruno have the pull on Ellis Island? (gets to bring immigrants in)
Bruno claims that he has ties with an Immigrant Assistance Organization/Travel’s Aid Company. In reality, money and relationships.
As we all see from the movie, clearly Magda was very important to Ewa. Ewa was determined to help her sister every war she could. What measures was Ewa willing to take purely just to get money and the help her sister needed?
She tried to steal money, starts performing in Bruno’s theatre, prostitution, tolerating Bruno, not leaving from him, helps to cover up a murder.
In the bathhouse, Ewa was offered a banana. She started eating it with the peel on. Explain that.
Many of the immigrants didn’t have the money to afford luxurious ships to travel to America. They had to survive on lukewarm soup, black bread, potatoes, and fish. Exotic foods like bananas were new things to them.
How did Bruno convince Ewa into prostitution?
He invites her to perform in his burlesque show. She can be one of the girls who doesn’t appear nude, he says, but he informs her that, if she really wants to earn the money to bribe the Ellis Island officials to let her sister go, she will have to do certain “things” she won’t want to do.
Why and on what terms did Ewa agree with that?
It was the only way for her to earn money to save her sister. She begins to prostitute herself for Bruno, but only if he gives her half the money.
Does Ewa fit in with the other burlesque girls? Why did Ewa feel misplaced and didn’t connect with the other burlesque girls and characters?
Ewa felt like an outcast among the other burlesque girls, because she was most likely traumatized after leaving her sister and felt alone in that terrible situation. She couldn’t participate in a competition because she didn’t have any money. She also refused to drink with the others. Said she misses her family. The other girls were also jealous that Bruno seemed to like Ewa so much and ultimately fell in love with her.
Rosie mentioned liquor quite many times, what was the situation with alcohol in the states in the 20s? (hint: al capone)
The period between 1920 and 1933 in the states is often referred to as “the prohibition era”. Alcoholism, family violence (wife abuse), petty crime and saloon-based political corruption prompted prohibitionists, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society. The Eighteenth Amendment established the prohibition of “intoxicating liquors”. This prompted the rise of speakeasies (illegal bars selling beer and liquor after paying off local police and government officials). Bandit’s Roost was (probably) a speakeasy.
Ewa escapes Bruno’s place and arrives at her aunt’s and uncle’s. How did they act towards her?
Her aunt and uncle accepted her into their home at first, but the next morning her uncle (who was a respected businessman) learned about the rumors on the ship and reported Ewa to the police. He was a man of honour. A good name was important to him. Ewa’s aunt was much more caring, gave Ewa money to help Magda.
The inspector in the Ellis Island told Ewa, that her aunt’s and uncle’s address isn’t valid and doesn’t exist. To Ewa’s uncle they said, that Ewa and Magda never came with the boat. Why did they lie?
The inspector didn’t lie. Ewa’s uncle had been to Ellis Island, but after he heard what had happened on the boat to US (“Ewa had prostituted”), he left. He thinks himself as a business and an honourable man, who doesn’t want to get his name shamed.
Explain the love triangle situation in the movie.
Bruno is madly in love with Ewa. Emil seems to fancy Ewa too, not as desperately as Bruno does. Ewa doesn’t seem to like no one, she is determined to get to her loving sister, and to her, nothing else matters.
Why did Bruno feel jealous of Emil and why was he scared of him?
When they were younger, Emil ran away with bruno’s girlfriend and it hurt him a lot. He was scared that Orlando might come and steal Ewa from him. But Bruno also had a gun in his drawer for protection and he wasn’t afraid to use it.
Why did Emil fail to protect and save Ewa. How did he die?
Orlando comes back from his tour, says that he could help Ewa reach her sister. They take Bruno’s gun, Emil appears during a conversation between Bruno and Ewa. Orlando forces Bruno to say that Ewa is free to go, threatening him with a gun to his head, but Bruno stabs Orlando at the same time Orlano releases the fake shot because of fear and kills him.
When Ewa went to confess in the church that she stole the money, she talked about her journey to new york. Explain it (the conditions)
“there is no food and no room. it is very dirty and we are all together, like animals.”
What was the importance of Mother of God in the movie? Why did Ewa pray to her?
The heroine prays to Mary in two scenes. In the second scene, however, she also overtly prays to God in the name of the Holy Trinity. At the end, it appears that God has indeed answered her prayers.
What was Bruno’s ethnicity/religion?
Ashkenazi jew, central european (cop called him “kike” which is a slur for a jew, he said he spoke yiddish which is the historical language of Ashkenazi jews). Weiss is a German, Austrian, Swiss German, German Jewish, Austrian Jewish, and Swiss Jewish surname meaning ‘white’ or ‘knows’. Bruno tells Ewa in the beginning of the film, that he speaks Yiddish (a language used mainly by Jews).
What do you think of Ewa’s character development?
Shy and helpless > can stand up for herself, can hold a conversation. hiding behind the fireplace > threatening her coworker w/ scissors. blindly trusting bruno > being sceptical about orlando helping her with her sister. parallelism: the other women giving her opium in the beginning (for her nerves or whatever) > she giving bruno opium (for pain) after he gets beat up.
Why does Ewa thank bruno at the end? Why does bruno not accept her thanks?
Thanks to Bruno, Ewa wasn’t deported back, she ultimately got back together with her sister. Every other bad thing didn’t matter in that second, Ewa was thinking that Bruno’s love for her saved her sister. Bruno felt like he had betrayed Ewa. Because of him, Ewa starts prostitution to earn money. He gave her no other choice.
How is the ending of the movie related to the morale of the story?
the ending of THE IMMIGRANT shows clearly that Christian faith in God leads to salvation and freedom, but a sinful life leads to an impoverished life of psychological imprisonment,(like a Hell).
What was the relationship between Ewa and Bruno in the beginning. Describe the change. What were Bruno’s intentions with Ewa in the beginning of the film? How did change throughout the film? Why? What changed in Bruno?
In the beginning, Ewa was seen just as a next pretty girl, who could perform in Bruno’s theatre. Ewa trusts Bruno blindly, to help her and hopes that he would help to get her sister out too. Soon Bruno starts falling for Ewa (for some odd reason), Ewa despises him. Because he had led her to prostitution and performing. Bruno starts going crazy, paranoid about Emil, ultimately kills him, saves money for her, gets beat up but still wants to help. In the end Ewa sees that Bruno cares for her and tries to forgive and give him a second chance.
Ewa says this: “I hate you (Bruno), and I hate myself?” What does she mean by it?
Pretty straightforward. Bruno led Ewa to prostitution. Ewa would have never done that if it wasn’t for money. Her morals were too high. She hated herself because she had commited too many sins in terms of her Catholic religion.