In Cameroon, “you have to be born as someone, so you can be somebody.” As has Jende Jonga unlucky, because he is a “nobody”. But in America, where a black person wants to be president soon, but he would have a chance to have a “respectable man” to become. Warning voices ignoring it can brave his home behind in order to pursue with Mrs. Neni and son Liomi a better existence in the land of dreams.
Two years keeps the family in New York City through until downer on downer soured their confidence.
The latest blow to add them to the stock market crash of 2008. What the economy crashes worldwide in turmoil and many, many people to job and wealth brings, even Jende costs the workplace beyond the last bit of hope and dignity, and he returns with his family – now a girl has been born – to Cameroon back .
With the exception of the last two steps, the author Imbolo Mbue shares the fate of its protagonists.
How Jende she was born in 1982 in Limbé, Cameroon, drew about the same time as in the US, lost by the Wall Street debacle their work. But instead of giving up and going back to Africa, she completed her university studies and began to write her first novel. When she for ” Behold the dreamers < " Imbolo Mbue: "Behold the dreamers" at
Family Jonga settles in the district of Harlem, applied for asylum and is doing everything possible to be included in American society. In fact, in 2007 rosy prospects when Clark Edwards, a big shot at Lehman Brothers, Jende set as a private chauffeur and well paid are opening up in the fall.
Conscientiously and compliantly doing Jende his duty and trust soon acquires its rolls encoder. If the two slip into her limo by New York, they talk about God and the world, and between the two men, a certain intimacy that gives them insight into mentality and world view of the other development.
Of course life them on opposite poles of American society. Family Edwards (Clark, wife Cindy, a school-age students and a son) resided with in a luxury apartment on the Upper East Side and revels in wealth. The Jongas live in a shabby apartment full of vermin. Neni toils ten hours a day as a nursing assistant from, done in the evening the housework and then helps Liomi with homework, that he had a better life than his parents: doctor put him as a long-term goal. When he fell asleep, Neni cramming a few more hours for their own training, because she wants to be a pharmacist. Despite all the drudgery, the family needs every penny three times turn around to make ends meet.
In the summer, the two conflicting spheres of life interlink more closely, because Neni draws with Cindy to summer estate in the Hamptons. There she takes like what is obtained in the house and the pool of work. Just as Jende feels accepted by Clark, Neni can not believe how friendly the white upper class ladies treat her and compliment her. But you will not unaware that Cindy is unhappy
Strange how stubborn -. Or naive – hold the Jongas of their dreams. Even Jendes cousin who already longer lives in America and the arrival financed his relatives, never has made its belief that the powerful whites would give one iota of their influence or possessions to give to other groups real opportunities for advancement a secret. And although Jende while his boss in the back on the phone more and more nervous, quite unintentionally explosive insider information is given ( “the ship is sinking”), he developed no sense, is
Not that paves a huge crisis. Once Jendes powerlessness against the anonymous, seemingly arbitrary acting jurisdiction tarnishes his confidence that he could find a small but secure luck in the land of the Free . Secluded behind as Kafkaesque palace walls, the process moves to permanent residency through more than two years until the Jongas the judgment is delivered. With the stock market crash everything collapses, in matters large and small. Jende loses his job, Clark taking a new direction, the tentative bond between the disparate families torn
In contrast the two environments, the author leaves no aspect and not a cliché.. The radiant life of the successful White is pure facade. While workaholic Clark lives entirely for his company and the family neglected, his wife is bored in material abundance and stunned her sense empty loneliness with alcohol and drugs. The older son throws, disgusted by his father’s career and the pursuit of profit, law school and embarks on a self-discovery trip (to India, where else?). So money can not buy happiness – who would have thought
In contrast, the black couple, despite his worries about the uncertain future lives in a happy partnership – poor but noble. By Nemi gaining self-confidence, it distances itself from the traditions of their African origin, which can determine, for example, the man in important matters about his wife under. This results in a dramatic but short conflict, as their situation escalate and Jonga decides to return to Cameroon. As Neni opposes with rather half-baked ideas about how they could stay with the two children in America, Jende falls into old behavior patterns back and – out of desperation, injured honor, shame and helplessness – palpable. But he immediately regretted it deeply, and they reconciled again
Also strange. In Mbues Roman world, not a single bad guy occurs. Her characters are all endearing. Even Clark Edwards is not one of the Insatiable. Early on, he warned his superiors, was the state of the nation seriously, one must “change our long-term strategy.” As he reveals his driver, he would anyway prefer a different person – and helps him a self-penned poem. Rich and noble.
The African migrant family seems to have sprung from the manual of the whites for perfect immigrants. Faultless they potter diligently and reliably to their future, provide you with their little income the relatives in the home and even put also nest egg aside to drop anyone to the load. Result they take everything out what to expect, fit into their meager circumstances, do not complain about them denied rights. That Jende, the good father and loving husband for a moment the self-control to lose, catches than the heartless reality of his family, adds to the surplus of good an almost soothing bitter Beigeschmäckle added, and Neni can not afford at least a questionable episode.
Nevertheless Imbolo Mbues novel concept is not just naive. Rather, it has to realize their dreams understanding and compassion for their characters as they make an honest effort, but realize too late that they pursue dubious ideals. The one like the other paint their world beautiful and not even notice how the reality worse – until the catastrophe finally wakes up and can burst their illusions. There are plenty of analysis and fictional works that reveal that such developments do not fall from heaven, but can be influenced for the worse or better. Imbolo Mbue but does not responsible merely waives any concrete criticism, puts a finger in the wound of racism, does not reveal any abuses, such lawless immigrants are exploited as cheap labor and discriminated against. Thus, “The country dreamed” no more than an overly light, to linguistically simple light reading.