In a much historical aspect, there were numerous men and women who were devoted upon creating certain places or buildings to be exact for those who were less fortunate. In Mary Antin’s book, she had described a particular settlement house in Boston, exactly found in Roxbury. The Hale House was just one of the most prominent settlements in America. It is in this course then that this essay would progress. After devoting generous paragraphs about settlements and/or settlement houses, Antin’s book would then be scrutinized as a way to vividly generate the opinions that she had about the Hale House, a settlement house.
It would then be asserted that what Antin had described could be justified or verified from the researches that were accumulated for this particular paper. Settlement Houses It was said that during the 1600, foreigners had slowly migrated to the American land and it was further asserted that the early foreign settlers of America were those who immigrated from England to settle in the Northern part of the country (“Early Settlements”). It could then be deduced that some of these people had tried to find the opportunities that could be found from the new land.
From these early settlers, there became communities that had thrived to live out their lives away from the land of birth and tried to fashion a new life in a new country. Over the course of time, however, there seems to be evidences that settlers and immigrants has continued to found new haven in the said country. Most of the people then had tried to escape the harsh lives that they had from the earlier places that they have been from and hoped that America would be the country that would provide for them what they could no longer acquire in their previous countries.
Also that they had tried to envision for themselves the hopes of acquiring what modern people would call the American dream – which would be seen here as prosperity or success they could not find before. Most people have this big aspiration for living out a life that could be fairly seen to be satisfactory or satisfying. In the advent then of these aspirations, people who are immigrating to America now is not much different from the people who had immigrated to the country before.
Aside form this observation, it could be seen then that a great and vast land as America is not remiss of problems concerning poverty. It was in this light then that few settlement houses for immigrants were established. Few good men and women had tried to establish houses that could be of help to those who are less fortunate. The settlement homes were then devoted to the life were the poor could have a certain diversion or distraction from the mundane and harsh life in the slums (Lauren Radomski).
It was said that Jane Addams had first established a settlement house, named Hull House, where it was reported that some entertainments were done mainly for the poor living in the slums of Chicago as well as providing a meal and a bed and a ray of hope to those who are in need (Lauren Radomski). Although it should be noted that settlement houses were first patterned the Toynbee Hall in London where Canon Samuel Garnett was responsible for founding it (Blank).
In other settlements, these entertainments could have extended to formation of clubs, recreational activities after school, education for the immigrant children as well as providing certain health related help (Blank). It would be seen then that they had tried to provide something that could not usually be found in the slums which were extended for the adult and children as well as the elderly (Blank). The people in the settlement house were more inclined for sharing with the people a certain taste of the American lifestyle, a certain help in order to participate in the American dream (Blank).
It would be further asserted that the settlement houses would then be appropriated as a saving grace for some and a diversion for those who are miserable in the life that they live in the slums. Most of the said houses then aim to accommodate and improve on the living conditions that people in the slums may be experiencing. Generally then these settlements were devoted for the immigrants in the country but it has now evolved into a much community-centered approach in alleviating the problems of poverty (Blank).
Historically, Hale house was one of those establishments that had been set up in order to accommodate the immigrants of the time (“United South End Settlements “). Hale House was just one of the four settlement houses that were established in Boston. It would then be observed that Hale House could still be established that it generates the same services that any other settlement houses had been providing. Mary Antin’s The Promised Land Mary Antin and her family had immigrated to America from Russia, escaping the discriminating crimes against the Jews in her time.
Her father had hopes for an improved life in America. They settled in Boston and despite her father’s aspirations, they were welcomed with poverty and difficulty especially when they were foreigners who are not much fluent in the usual English language. Her father had a hard time looking for a job and they were suffering from a life that was alien to them (Antin). Mary’s father was not deterred from providing for his family. He did not also waver from his belief that Mary should have the best education especially when Mary at a young age had proved to have a promising life ahead of her.
Her writing prowess had emerged earlier in her life. It was her greatest ambition then to learn and someday provide for her family. Her “adventures” in life then had taken her to people who were famous in their own right. Much that these people would have helped, Mary still suffered from the usual helplessness that poverty stricken people do. It could be read though that she had experienced considerable help from her friends and at the same time she was wary of taking on the offers that would have been given to her.
However, her determination to succeed in her goals had paved the way for a greater success in life. Mary got a scholarship for a Latin School where her classmates were aristocrats. Aside from the famous people and some aristocratic acquaintances, Mary had also partaken in what was called to be the Hale House. It was through her brother that she had discovered a new diversion aside from school. Her club in the Hale House had opened her to the possibility of liking a subject that she was most wary to take – Natural history or the Naturalist perspective.
It was described in the book that Mary had developed a fondness for the club that she had participated in despite the fact that others were just trying to be polite with her enthusiasm. It could be read in the book that Mary’s brothers and sisters had participated in the activities that were open to the people who were coming to the Hale House. The Hale House as a Settlement House It could then be seen that Mary Antin’s description of the Hale House is relatively accurate to the description of the settlement houses that were set up before.
The clubs and activities coincide with what was said above regarding settlement houses. Also that the program were situated near areas where immigrants and the slums could be found could also be held true in Antin’s account. Mary’s descriptions of the slums have been marked down by the emotional aspects of participating in the slum area. The major of this claim however is that the emotionality and mentality that the settlement workers would have wanted to invoke on the participants had rang true in the eyes of Mary.
From her brother’s and sister’s delight in participating in the welcoming activities to her own experience of the people that were part in the settlement, Mary had a clear view that the people from her club had shared with her the American life and the people in her club had made her glimpse the promises that America might have in stored for her. True enough she had been rewarded with a successful writing career and she also had enough for her to provide for her family.
Antin, Mary. “The Promise Land”. Ed. Mary Mark Ockerbloom. Celebration of Women Writers. September 28 2007.<http://digital. library. upenn. edu/women/antin/land/land. html>. Blank, Barbara Trainin. “Settlement Houses: Old Idea in New Form Builds Communities”. 1998. September 29 2007. <http://www. socialworker. com/settleme. htm>. “Early Settlements”. September 29 2007. <http://cybersleuth-kids. com/americanhistory/Chapter1/earlysettlements. htm>. Lauren Radomski, Maranda Bliss. “Settlement Homes; Then and Now”. 1998. September 29 2007. <http://nhs. needham. k12. ma. us/cur/sintros2/LR_MB/settlementhouses. htm>. “United South End Settlements “. 2007. September 29 2007. <http://www. uses. org/about_us. htm>.