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What is the message of this poem?

You will write and submit a 5-7 page essay (double-spaced, 12-point font) in MLA format addressing the prompts below.

In 1903 the following famous poem by Emma Lazarus was engraved and placed upon the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Think about this poem’s message. Did immigrants’ experiences reflect the hope and promise of this poem?

The New Colossus

By Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

In order to prepare and write this essay effectively, please address the following:

 

1. What is the message of this poem?

Click on this link to help you analyze the poem. After clicking on the link, click on the “Commentary” tab to learn about the meaning of the poem.

http://www.loc.gov/poetry/poetry-of-america/american-identity/aliciaostriker-emmalazarus.html

2. Which immigrants’ experiences reflected the message of the poem? Provide specific examples from the readings, films, assignments, and AVPs.

3. Which immigrants’ experiences did not reflect the message of the poem? Provide specific examples from the readings, films, assignments, and AVPs.

The following is a template for writing the essay that you may use if you wish. Parts 2 and 3 can have as many paragraphs as you wish.

Part 1: Introductory paragraph

State your thesis. For example: The poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus promises hope for immigrants coming to America, but did America really live up to the promise of this poem?

Explain the meaning of the poem.

Let the reader know where you stand on this question. Did immigrants’ experiences reflect the promises of the poem or not. Or did some immigrants have different experiences than others? Make sure your ending sentence lets the reader know what you plan to argue. Remember you do not have to choose one side or the other, you can argue that both sides are true if you wish.

Part 2: How did America live up to the poem’s promises? Provide specific examples.

Part 3: How did America fail to live up the poem’s promises? Provide specific examples.

Part 5: Closing paragraph. Restate your introduction in different words and make a final pronouncement about what the promise of the poem really meant for immigrants.

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