Amerika Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Who does the servant represent?

    The reason why the protagonist of the story, Karl, decided to run away from his home country and find refuge in America is because he got a servant girl pregnant. Upon hearing this, Karl quickly fled the country without telling anyone about his plans. The servant girl is important because she represents the reason why Karl decided to flee. The servant girl is also used here as a metaphor. She is described as having power over the people in her life despite being just a servant. She has the power to make Karl stay with her despite his decision and the reason why she can do this is because of her baby. The servant is used in this case to represent a political idea while the baby is the result of that political ideal. The fact that she is a servant may implied that the political idea is accepted by the lower class primarily who think that their lives will be improved as a result.

  2. 2

    What does the sea voyage represents?

    When Karl comes to America, he has to take a long sea voyage, filled with adventures and dangers. While on the boat, Karl finds himself lonely and he slowly learns what it takes to survive. Sea voyages were in the past extremely dangerous as those who chose this method of transportation could easily die in transit from a large number of reasons. Those who survived, demanded respect because of their courage. In literature, sea voyages have another purpose, that of acting as metaphors. The voyage a person takes is often put in context and presented as the means through which a person grows and develops. In this novel, this is true as well because the sea voyage is used here to suggest the transition from boy to man. This transition was facilitated by the problems Karl had to deal with wile traveling.

  3. 3

    What is a vagrant and why is such a figure significant to the narrative?

    At one point, Karl meets with two people, and Irish and a French immigrant who are called vagrants. The term is used to refer to homeless people, those who do not have a home and instead earn a living by traveling from one place to another and begging. The fact that the two vagrants are homeless and immigrants is also important. The first person is an Irish immigrant and the Irish who fled to America to escape poverty often admitted that they were treated in the most despicable manner by the rest, not being offered the same opportunities as the rest of the country. Because of this, many found a hard time sustaining themselves and finding work. Thus, the idea that the two are immigrants also has the purpose of transmitting the idea that while many saw America as the land of possibilities, this was not always true.

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