Shattered Dreams Essay, Research Paper
The American Dream is the ability to directly affect your life. This was especially true in the early 1900 s when the United States received a flood of immigration from various cultures to escape harsh persecution from their government. At that time, many countries had a set religion or style which, if it was not followed was punishable by imprisonment or even death. America gave these immigrants the freedom to praise, worship, speak, and pursue their own happiness. The Dream also includes being rich and also making an impact to society. In order to achieve this dream, one must work hard and patient in whatever they do. In Yamamoto s short story The Brown House, Mr. Hattori,
because of his stubbornness, impatience, and ignorance, he does not succeed in his pursuit of the dream.
The source of Mr. Hattori s impatience actually stems from the beginning of this short story. In the beginning of this story, Mrs. Hattori, who which was commenting on their strawberry plants on how she is being compensated by using less sugar in making her annual batch of jam is answered sarcastically by Mr. Hattori by Some compensation! From this scene, it already shows how Mr. Hattori is impatient in getting money and also
can foreshadow the decisions he makes later in the story.
As the story progresses, Mr. Hattori s stubborn and impatient attitude is motivated by these get-rich-quick stories he hears about. Mr. Hattori hears stories of fortunes made even overnight which were made from a certain house in a neighboring town. This place was an illegal underground gambling den run by Chinese people. To with no hesitation, Mr. Hattori sets out for this house. His supposedly first and last visit to the brown house was seemingly disappointing. Upon hearing news of how Mr. Hattori faired in that brown house, Mrs. Hattori reacts in such exclamation in hopes for him to not
return to that place. Desperate and impatient as he is, Mr. Hattori returns to the house for another try for his luck. Again Mr. Hattori comes out unsuccessful. Questions arise in asking why does he keep going back to the house when he knows he s never going to win back what he has already lost.
The time period of this story takes place when anti-Asian groups in the State of California who fear such Asian groups as the Japanese, carry out discriminatory laws and amendments to prevent them from overrunning the state. Examples of the different laws were alien land and citizenship laws with the intent of decreasing the Japanese population. The passage of these laws made it hard for the Japanese to make a living in America. In order to be prosperous as an Asian during this time, one must continue to work hard and be patient. With all these discriminatory laws passed, it makes the brown house a legit
place for opportunity to help you get rich quicker. The house contained all sorts of people- white, black, yellow, and brown. In contrast to the world outside of the brown house, people in the house came together and participated in the games showing no concern of their skin color and ethnic origin. This house symbolizes how it really should be outside in which everyone treats each other as equals and work together towards their individual goals. With the racial harmony that this house possesses, it makes Mr. Hattori stubborn towards not returning to the house and gives reason why he keeps returning.
As Mr. Hattori keeps going back to house, Mrs. Hattori feels betrayed of the promise that Mr. Hattori was not come back to the house. Mr. Hattori is so eager in coming back to the house every week that he starts drifting away from his family and loses traditional family values that were instilled in him growing up. His constant returns to the house obviously does not help the family out any financially or intimately. Even after he promised of his of honor to never to go near that house again, he breaks it and it certainly
shows how much he cares about his wife and five children. Simply staying away from the house would be a sound decision on his part. But blinded with so much promises that is guaranteed from the house, Mr. Hattori remains stubborn and continues to return even after the authorities raided the house. His addiction to the brown house turned so bad that he starts going there by himself and not even bothering to come home at nights.
Mr. Hattori seems to change his ways upon Mrs. Hattori leaving him with the three oldest boys to take care of. The departure of Mrs. Hattori seemed to be a wake up call to Mr. Hattori to point out what he has been missing in his life and also to show him the real ways of making a living. As he starts working again, he seems to have everything under control with the house and food situation. It is because of his reformation, Mrs. Hattori comes back to live with him and the rest of kids. She believes that Mr. Hattori had seen the light (44). For that mean time, the Hattoris seemed to be back on where
they are supposed to be at.
Despite the reformation that Mr. Hattori goes through towards the end of story, he still does not have a goal for his family and also does not grasp the value of money yet. Winning the lottery is really helpful for a family like the Hattoris. Upon winning the money, Mrs. Hattori knowing how Mr. Hattori is, stresses that he does not know what he is going to do with that money and that he absolutely has no conception. Burning the money would likely be an option in order to stray away from money not earned. Mrs. Hattori is a firm believer that one should earn his money through hard work and you would be more entitled to deserve in getting that reward. Being ignorant and stubborn Mr. Hattori uses the money on a new car, washing machine, and rug to which its gets repossessed after a few months. It clearly shows that Mr. Hattori has no conception of what he is going to do with the family and himself. It was ignorant on his part to buy such materialistic things. Trying to look richer than what you already are is one of the follies of
being a victim of the American Dream.
The American Dream certainly affected Mr. Hattori s life completely. It changed his view on things such as family, money, and society. Ignorance, impatience, and stubbornness which is sparked by the brown house is the motivational factors that help draw behavior throughout the story. It was because of this that his dreams of happiness and being rich are shattered.