The questions of immigration have stirred people’s minds over decades. The challenges of living in another country have been described in various sources, among which are “Selections from John Harrows’ diary.” In the description of his life in America, Harrow provides valuable information as to the difficulties of immigration and the influence life in another country has on shaping one’s character. Certain similarities can be traced between the indentured servitude he undertook and the immigrant lives of today.
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Harrow’s account of his life shows that immigrants should be ready to take any jobs, however poorly paid, to survive. Thus, Harrow had to educate a deaf and dumb boy to earn money for himself and his family, though he had had no such experience before and had not been taught to do it (Dublin, 1993). Moreover, sometimes payment for his job was late, and he had to find ways to get the money from his master without offending him (Dublin, 1993).
Similarly, in the case of illegal emigration, immigrants today can not count on stable payment for their services and have to find ways to keep bodies and souls together even if the payment does not come. It can be seen from the text that Harrow was preparing the ground for his wife’s and children’s emigration. Today, if people want to emigrate with children, they too have to have some savings they may rely on in case of need.
It may be inferred that the problems Harrow faced during his travels are not very different from that of today’s immigrants. Lack of money and stable payments, uncertainty about what the future holds in store, and generally unstable position in another country are among the main challenges many immigrants face. However, as Harrow’s account shows, all difficulties may be overcome if people are brave enough to try.
Dublin, T. (Ed.). (1993). Immigrant voices: New lives in America, 1773-1986. University of Illinois.