Analysing texts: I like to be in America (Solution) on the web-site for teachers and learners of English as a secondary language from a German point of view
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Analysis: "I like to be in America"

The text "I like to be in America" is a song from the musical "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
The song deals with the great differences between white and non-white Americans.
The setting of the musical is the West Side of New York City, a poor area where many Puerto Ricans live.
This song is sung by different groups of Puerto Rican girls who have come from San Juan, the Capital of Puerto Rico, to live in America.They compare the well-known version of the American Dream with the reality of their own experiences.

The song is divided into 8 stanzas. The 1st stanza tells about the freedom in America which must be paid for. The 2nd stanza reports about the possibility to buy on credit but you have to pay the interest rates. Furthermore it is mentioned that you can't do anything with the goods you can buy because you have nothing else left. In the 3rd stanza you can read that everything is growing and getting better all the time, but the housing situation of the immigrants is getting worse. The 4th stanza tells the reader about the many new houses which are not let to foreigners. The 5th stanza adds that you can have a life on the sunny side of America if you are a white fighter. The 6thstanza shows that freedom is distributed among different classes, so that you are free to do what is left to your class to do. The 7th stanza is a bit different from the previous ones. It starts by criticizing the dirt and crime in America that you can't realize that you are living in the famous American dream of a better world. In the 8thstanza the girls express their idea to go back to Puerto Rico but they must fear that they can't find anyone there because they have all emigrated to the USA.

The authors try to convey an insight into the glorified American life as far as immigrants are concerned. Their message is that you should not believe in the tales of the Promised Land where everything is possible without doing anything. They want the listener to face the darker sides of America which belong to the positive aspects as well.

My own view of the matter is that the authors are right to emphasize that there are two different sides of American reality as we can face in Germany too. If you want to get on well you must know and follow the rules of the country in which you want to live. It's nonsense to think that the people of the country will change according to your imagination.


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Solution
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Analysing texts: I like to be in America
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The dream that came true
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