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Abstract:America is in the Heart (1946), the debut novel written by the contemporary Filipino American writer and poet Carlos Bulosan, has aroused heated discussion since its publication among the literary circles within and without America. This semi-autobiographical novel provides a lens to the early Filipino immigrants' life in the United States, and secures a shrine for Carlos Bulosan in the Philippine American writers as well as Asian American writers. This paper attempts to use "One out of Many," a short story by V.S. Naipaul, as the foil and contrasts it with America is in the Heart so as to pinpoint the fantasy and illusion of the American dream depicted by the writer in the novel. In a main WASP American society, the universal values are actually substantial cultural hegemony for the minority groups. In addition, Carlos Bulosan somehow internalizes the white consciousness and shows a distinct and colored gender prejudice in his narration, which can be seen from the different attitudes towards Filipino and American women respectively. Besides, the paper points out that assimilation cannot be offered as a strategy to solve the problem and explain the failure of Santosh, the average man among the great immigrants in "One out of Many." Thus the cosmopolitan world of socialism and brotherhood is nothing more than an imagination. Nevertheless, through the literary imagination, Bulosan is capable of depicting the bitter life experienced by Filipino immigrants and other ethnic minorities in the United States, and at the same time, it also reflects the promising and hopeful expectation that the author has in the future for his ethnic group.
keywords: Carlos Bulosan;America is in the Heart;“One out of Many”;diasporic literature;Imaginary cosmopolitanism
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|WANG Li||Nanjing University/Emory University|