Guiding Questions:

What are some of the culture shocks Mary Antin experienced upon arriving to America?

Did Mary Antin and her family experienced any discrimination?

How was Antin’s experience in America unique or different? In what ways was it like yours?


Mary Antin's home at Union Place, Boston

"But I saw a different picture on my introduction to Union Place. I saw two imposing rows of brick buildings, loftier than any dwelling I had ever lived in. Brick was even on the ground for me to tread on, instead of common earth or boards. Many friendly windows stood open, filled with uncovered heads of women and children. I thought the people were interested in us, which it was neighborly. I looked up to the topmost row of windows, and my eyes were filled with the May blue of an American sky!" (Antin, 1912, p. 183-184)

We have been talking in class about immigration. All of you have parents and relatives that had to leave their country for various reasons and come to America. We’ve had the opportunity also to talk about having family members who still want to come to America.

This week we will read a passage from a book called, The Promised Land. In this book Mary Antin talks about the time when her family immigrated from Russia to Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Header Images: Portrait of Mary Antin and detail from cover of The Promised Land, by Mary Antin, from Boston Public Library's Print Department Holdings

Inline Image: Union Place, from The Promised Landby Mary Antin, at Google Books