Week 2 Readings

First, I want to start off by mentioning how these two readings made an impact on me by showing the range of struggle and opportunity that comes up for any individual who decides to migrate. In case 1, Job’s situation becomes suddenly so different than what he had planned, being taken as a slave himself unexpectedly changed his entire plan, and what he had thought he would do. Not only being taken against will but then struggling to prove himself and express was nearly impossible. Especially in this time period, indentured servants were not expected to be highly educated so they were not given the time of day to sit down and listen, especially once Job found someone who could understand him and help. But as I was reading, I compared this situation too many individuals who decide to migrate without any idea to find a new home. Just like Job, there is a language barrier and a lack of cultural connection with the new land. Just how it took a while for Job to find his way back home, it takes a new immigrant a while to find themselves in their new home. Adaptation and acceptance play a huge role in trying to make a living, whether it is something we want or not. But the most impressive thing that I found in Job’s story is that he learned English and was determined to go home. He had a goal and didn’t let his struggles completely destroy him. Looking at that, I compare it with immigrants throughout history who try to make a living in their host land while also thinking of home as an end goal and what they could do to go back.

Now to speak on John’s diary, I found it incredible that we were able to witness his experiences day by day since he left home. Exactly documenting what he went through, how the journey was, and whether that day was hard for him or not (especially for those nights he didn’t have food). What I noticed as I was reading through and watched him traveled, he was able to better carry himself because he was educated. Even in modern times, education is the most important thing you can do because it is something nothing can take away from you. In terms of John’s life, since he could have been enslaved had he not been educated, he had lots to offer. Now using this reading to connect it to modern-day immigration, I can see how education still shows its importance, because now it proves someone’s worth, which should not only be a determining factor because everyone has something to offer. Just like Job could work skillfully, John was educated both being able to carry themselves if need be. Now, something that I noticed as the experts kept getting deeper the longer he was away from home was how involved he was getting in his new home. Setting up a new life for him and learning the ways around him, especially once politics comes to the pictures and he’s able to give his thoughts on what is happening in the world around him. Hearing his thoughts for someone who had started from scratch to having him give him work and make a life shows how immigration can truly be an incredible thing.

5 thoughts on “Week 2 Readings

  1. I think it is interesting how these experiences are very similar to modern-day immigration experiences. While I think Job’s migration experiences are not the most positive, it is interesting seeing how he shares experiences with others in terms of adapting to the new language and culture. I can also see how the education of these men helped them in their endeavors, especially in John’s case who had some opportunity for different jobs. I agree that Job’s experience in learning the language is very impressive and demonstrates how many migrants adapt quickly.

  2. I found JOB’s story very powerful as well, and thought that having two readings that had men from very differing backgrounds to be a powerful juxtaposition to the immigration experience. I thought that JOB’s willingness to learn English and how much he learned during his time on his trip to England showed how important JOB himself knew that knowing the language was.

  3. I was actually a little confused trying to follow your summary and I did not come away with the same highlights as you did. Firstly, the first passage with Jobs- I wanted to make sure you understand that he was a slave and I was most boggled when you were comparing him to indentured servitude. I feel like you’re discounting Jobs’ immigration as a choice where it feels like “yeah he struggled…” and you mention cultural and language disconnects with the new land. You say it might “take him a while to find himself.” I had a very different evaluation of the severity of his forced immigration where he was captured and put to work. His priorities were not in “learning a new language,” and they were much greater than just getting home. His life and his entire community’s life at home was at risk from the slavery capturing.

    Also, no, indentured servants were not assumed to be educated; however, I think I should emphasize that they were rather selected for what skills they brought from the table. So in John’s case from his journal, even if he was not naturally educated, THAT- skills would be the ultimate facet to add value to indentured slaves. That added value for them then.

  4. After reading Job’s story and what he endure, I felt that his story was also very powering. I thought that it was interesting to see, that someone in the American colonies was able to speak the same language as Job was able to. John’s story was also interesting because you got a first-hand account of an indentured servant in the American colonies and witness what he endure.

  5. The similarities of those two experiences also lend a light on life and an immigrant experience during the period. While one was a person who came from a different language and culture trying to assimilate into English culture and the other was an indentured servant in America. The drastic differences in those two immigrants can be seen in their accounts with the idea of education being relevant in both.

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