Monday, October 4, 2010

The Struggles of Inequality in the Real World and in Literature

On October 4, Jesus Nebot gave a lecture to the students and faculty of Loyola University regarding illegal immigration, which ultimately showed a deep relationship to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark. The main point of the lecture was to teach the audience the real reason for illegal immigration, which was inequality. There was also inequality, which Georgiana in The Birthmark faces. Although these are two different types of inequalities faced by two different types of people, it is important that one understands that we must let go of judgment of others, and overcome injustices and adversities in this world in order to make it a more peaceful and loving place.

Jesus Nebot was born in Spain. At an early age, he began working in fields in France, becoming an illegal immigrant himself. His work experiences influenced him to film and directed a movie called “No Turning Back,” a story of an illegal immigrant who accidently kills a girl driving a work truck and now must run from the police. Although this is not the life he lived, Nebot’s reality allows for him to give in depth lectures regarding the detailing the perspectives of illegal immigration. He stated four perspectives regarding the issue, historical, political, and humanitarian. The fourth and most important is the economic. The historical perspective is that immigrants put this country together. The political perspective is that politics cannot deal with this crisis in the long, as politicians do not do things for the people, but to win votes. The humanitarian perspective is that immigration is not meant to separate, but not to bring people together. The economic perspective was the most important of the lecture. Nebot states that the main reason for illegal immigration is the economic inequality of Mexico and South American countries compared to America. With America holding many opportunities and better living standards, people flee past the border in order to create a better life for themselves and their families. They take the chance of being arrested in order to provide better advantages for their families. Nebot also says that there are 5 ways to decrease illegal immigration. These ways are raising standards in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, reopen the debate on the future of the Latin American countryside, reduce the economic insecurities that are fueling the anti-immigrant backlash, cancel impoverished countries’ crippling debts, and devise a set of policies that bring immigrants out of the shadows. Even with these changes, there are still hardships that these immigrants will face, including low pay and tough conditions. I have experienced these conditions first hand. This summer I worked in a kitchen washing dishes with dozens of immigrants. Most did not speak English, and therefore were taken advantage. These workers, some in the United States illegally, faced long hours cooking and cleaning. Some were also paid below minimum wage, due to their immigration status. Ultimately, Jesus Nebot there are many issues faced by immigrants, but there are also many ways to overcome them. In order to make the world a better place, we must do the best we can to overcome adversities people face. As Nebot said, “We must do simple acts to make people feel like we care.”

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, The Birthmark, there is also inequality faced by the protagonist Georgiana, although it is not the same inequality illegal immigrants face. In the story, Georgiana has a birthmark, similar to hand print. Her husband sees this birthmark as a flaw of hers, believing it is very ugly, and tries very hard to get her to remove it. Ultimately, he convinces to drink a potion that will remove it. This potion ends of removing the birthmark, which is ultimately the power of her soul, but also kills Georgiana. This story shows the inequality of emotional love and physical love. Her husband feels more affection for her physical features than the emotional feelings between them. He tries so hard to make her perfect that he disregards the true and best part of a relationship, the emotional side. His ability to overlook this part of the relationship led to the death of his wife. The inequality of emotional love and physical love killed his wife and ruined his life. In my opinion, like offers nothing better than a connection between someone you love. It is something to cherish, as it provides for a bond that potentially can never be broken. The emotional side of a relationship can never be overlooked. It is the most important part, for it truly connects the minds and souls of two people. The looks of your lover do not matter as long as you have an emotional bond that ties the two together. This will provide for a great and loving relationship, as well as an ideal life.

The connection of inequality in Jesus Nebot’s lecture at Loyola University and The Birthmark fit perfectly into real life. Both ideas show the terrible things brought about by inequality, whether it is economic inequality or inequality within a relationship. Both bring awful results, such as impoverishment, depression, and death. In this world, we as a people must live as one, just like Nebot said. The only way to do this is to break down and overcome inequalities surrounding all things in life. It is the only way to bring the people of our world together, for we are all the same. We must do this.

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