Different works of literature have been used over time to address the contemporary issues within the society. The subject currently in public discourse allows us to get a better understanding of the issues relevant to the present day as solutions are being developed. One book that does this is Luis Alberto Urrea, Into The Beautiful North, a narrative centered on the journey of an idealistic and smart 19-year-old, Nayeli, who takes on a journey to help bring back men into her village (Urrea). Her journey takes us through an understanding of some of the critical issues that the modern society face and Mexico including immigration and concept of feminism and women in leadership. These two issues have created culture wars within the society as different views have politicised and made the issues subject to high scrutiny. This article will aim to review how the elements of immigration of the Mexicans to the United States and feminism taking root in the society are shown in the book.
One of the major themes of Luis Alberto Urrea Into The Beautiful North is that of immigration through the present day U.S./Mexico adventure border story. The study of immigration literature has developed over the last century as the different critics started to have a scholarly interest in immigration to the United States (Llobrera 30). Urea adds to this study through the experiences of the people, of Tres Camarones that has led to immigration and resulted in negative consequences for the village. Immigration in the United States is a current and relevant issue politicised within the country. The history of immigration to the United States dates back centuries and has continued to be prevalent because of the economic and social conditions found in Mexico (Llobrera 8). The book explores and shows immigration through the view of the people of Tres Camarones a village found in Sinaloa.Throughout the novel, we are shown some of the major factors that play into immigration through the movement of people within the society to the United States. The village is a reflection of the issues and problems within Mexico that contribute towards immigration to the United States. Pew research states that crime, drugs and the troubled economy have left many Mexicans unsatisfied with the direction of the country and forced them to move to the United States in search of economic development and safety for their own life and that of their families (Pew 3). The story told through the view of 19-year-old Nayeli allows us to assess the mentality of the immigrants and get their experiences in their homes that push them to leave to the United States (Urrea 8). One of the reasons is related to poverty and the search of better opportunities by the men in Tres Camarones.
In the first chapter we are told, “The modern era had somehow passed Tres Camarones by, but this new storm had found a way to siphon its men away, out of their beds and into the next century, into a land far away” (Urrea 4). This quote reveals to us that the men within the village had left their homes to the United States as modern development changed the economy and way of life.Changes in the society that had allowed the rise of the modern era had provided for better opportunities and life for the societies that adapted to it. Tres Camarones did not like change and resisted it at each point. This is shown in the first pages of the book stating, “Nobody in the village liked the change. It had taken great civic upheaval to bring electricity to Tres Camarones” (Urrea 3). The economy changed as a result of modernity started to occur, the men within the village realized the importance of the changes and moved on to the United States to build a better life for their families. This aspect shows one of the reasons that immigration is prominent in the United States as people move to be able to have access to the resources that would alleviate their economic conditions.
Nayeli, the protagonist in the book also shows similar dreams of going to the United States be able to have access to everything. The ambition of Nayeli is a reflection of the mentality that exists within the society that has led to many of the Mexican population moving to the United States. In the book, we are told that “Nayeli was dreaming of leaving town again. She wanted to see anything, everything...sometimes she dreamed of going to the United States, "Los Yuanites" as people in the town called them (Urrea 8). Majority of the characters within the book including Nayeli view the United States as a land of opportunity and would risk leaving their homes, families, and culture in order to enter the country and pursue these ambitions. Nayeli’s view of the United States has been influenced by her father who traveled to the United States for a better life. The book shows this through the conversation between her aunt and her mother when they began pondering the beauty of the village. In the convention, Aunt Irma notes that Nayeli‘s father should have visited a specific spot in the North but is told ‘You cannot eat beauty”, an indication of the economic hardships that had pushed him to seek for opportunities in the United States (Urrea 27).Works Cited
Llobrera, Kairos G. "The Predicament of Illegality: Undocumented Aliens in Contemporary American Immigration Fiction." Columbia University (2015).
Pew. "Troubled by Crime, the Economy, Drugs and Corruption. MOST MEXICANS SEE BETTER LIFE IN U.S. – ONE-IN-THREE WOULD MIGRATE." Pew Research Center (2009).
Tarr-Whelan, Linda. Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership And Changing the World, Published by . Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009.
Urrea, Luis Alberto. Into the Beautiful North . Back Bay Books, 2010.