Leviza Murtazayeva

English 1121- Prof. Scanlan

First Page Draft


Immersion into a New Lifestyle


Many known stories create a picture of perfect ethics. But there are fewer stories that show the real picture, feelings, emotions, fears, etc. Mostly characters may have exaggerated emotions, it is different from short stories that hit home to those who emerged into a new environment and are forced to nothing but assimilate to a new lifestyle. The short story “Assimilation,” by E.L. Doctorow demonstrates the central characters to be Roman and Jelena. Roman is pictured as a stressed of life Hispanic college student, that works at any vacancy to pay off his college bills and for housing. Roman works as a dishwasher at a restaurant later is promoted to a busboy. Happy about his increase to the wage, he gets an offer from his boss Borislav, of three thousand dollars to marry his relative and make her legal in the United States. This is when we meet the next main character Jelena, a young woman that has the main goal of just moving and becoming legal in the United States. Ethics are the moral presentations of how society should act, fairly to others. Does that mean people will become apathetic to others or the opposite, is there a reason for any person to sacrifice themselves for someone else? The main conflict of this short story occurs between the two different sides, the morality and self-satisfaction, which characters seem to deal with constantly.

In the article by John McGowan “Ways of Worldmaking: Hannah Arendt and E.L. Doctorow” the reader may realize the real circumstances that may occur concerning “desolation”– emptiness, which gives a reader an idea of some type of view such as modernity. My goal for this research is to help readers of Doctorow’s work to recognize the prospection of the author and his point of view by including political ethics in the short stories. The closest relation of ethics for “Assimilation,” and central characters’ actions is Virtue ethics. Roman believes it is not moral to have a marriage without love and for money, this is why he would be cautious about his decisions about taking the offer and marrying Jelena, who does not have the same morals.