The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Themes

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Themes

The American Dream

Sepha and his immigrant friends have all come to America with hopes of making something of themselves. Disappointment strikes when they each learn that the country they set their hopes on doesn't seem to want them to succeed. Willingness to work isn't enough to garner success. In the end, Sepha is forced to readjust his goals in life. The persecution he receives from the people around him makes him question whether there really is any meaning to life and whether he has any control over his decisions or just the illusion of control.


Moving to a new country and entirely different culture, Sepha continually finds himself longing for his homeland. Ethiopia was not a perfect nor a happy place, but it was home to him. Now he is a stranger among people who neither understand nor desire to understand him, so he longs for home. Unlike Sepha, who actively tries to embrace this new culture, his uncle, Berhane, lives in denial. Resisting anything American, Berhane still lives in Ethiopia in his mind. He devotes his free time to nostalgic mementos from back home and conversations with fellow Ethiopians.

Racial Discrimination

The people who live in Logan's Circle are mostly immigrants and minority members. They have great mistrust for white people, who only really come around to deliver government notices and make arrests. When their only real interactions with caucasians are so overtly negative, there's no wonder why the locals remain wary and hateful around them. This proves especially painful when Judith moves into the neighborhood because she's a separated white woman raising her biracial daughter alone. Wanting to develop relationships with her neighbors, Judith often finds doors shut and tongues wagging in her wake.

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