94 pages 3 hours read

Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2022

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Cultural Context: The Immigrant Experience

The novel’s main characters represent a variegated mix of first- and second-generation Pakistani immigrants in the United States who demonstrate differing opinions about what it means to be Pakistani American. US demographers and social scientists use the term “first-generation” to refer to the first foreign-born family members to gain citizenship or permanent residency in the country, while “second-generation” refers to the US-born children of foreign-born individuals. Adding some confusion to this terminology is that "second-generation immigrant" means the same as “first-generation American.”

Noor and her uncle are first-generation immigrants because neither was born in the United States. Even though both are first-generation, Noor’s response to American and Pakistani cultures is quite different from her uncle’s, as he despises everything related to Pakistan while Noor longs to connect to her cultural roots. Salahudin and his parents, however, represent a more traditional immigrant family. Misbah and Toufiq are first-generation immigrants who came to the US for a fresh start when tragedy hit their family in Pakistan. Salahudin is a second-generation immigrant, or a first-generation American, who seems to have a healthy view and experience of both Pakistani and American culture.

According to the Pew Research Center, first-generation Muslim immigrants are more likely to express positive opinions about their place in America than second-generation Muslim immigrants.