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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

12. Migrant

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Activities: Author Activities

Carlos Bulosan - Teaching Tips

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  • To give students a better contextual understanding of Bulosan's works, divide them into groups and have them prepare class presentations on (1) a brief history of the Philippines before 1895, (2) the interaction between the Philippines and the United States between 1895 and the 1950s, (3) the treatment of Filipino immigrants in the United States, especially in the mid-twentieth century, and (4) a recent history of the Philippines, focusing on the Marcos family.

  • Bulosan's writing depicts the economic and racial prejudice he encountered and observed in the United States. However, even after enduring open hostility, continuous threats, violence, and insufferable living and working conditions, he still fills his work with the hope of equality for all people. What other stories, films, or television programs can students recall where characters face constant adversity but never give up on their hopes and dreams? Examples might range from classical works, such as The Odyssey, to Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, to more recent works such as Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. They might also include works from popular culture, like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or Billy Elliot. Discuss these examples in the context of Bulosan's works.

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