America Is in the Heart

Juxtaposing the figures of the “American Writer” and “Pilipino Writer” in America is in the Heart College

Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart meditates on the place of Filipino writers within American literature. In America Is in the Heart, there are two “types” of writers that are presented: “American writers” and “Filipino writers.” Carlos Bulosan characterizes “American writers” as ones who emphasize hope and “Filipino writers” as ones who emphasize anger in order to demonstrate the effect of extreme social and legal discrimination against Filipino men. Because Filipino men like Carlos were treated so unkindly by America when they arrived, they often became consumed with hate. The figure of the angry Filipino writer is a caricature of the ill-treated men who often retreated into scorn towards America, its people, and its apparent hopelessness.

The “Filipino writers” that Carlos Bulosan introduces in America Is in the Heart all share a deep-rooted anger and hopelessness. While walking on Canon Perdido Street with Marian, Carlos meets a Filipino bus boy who tells him, “I’ll be the greatest Filipino novelist in my time!” (216). Carlos explains, “His urge to write was spurred by hate. I recalled another lonely Filipino writer who had committed suicide, and I felt sorry for Florencio. I knew that he would destroy himself like...

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