94 pages 3 hours read

Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2022

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The Cost of the American Dream

Many immigrants come to the United States in search of a better life. America offers education, job opportunities, societal stability, and a fresh start. The possibilities America offers draw immigrants Riaz, Misbah, and Toufiq to the US from Pakistan. Riaz and Misbah, in particular, are motivated by their respective American dreams: Riaz works toward becoming an engineer and Misbah buys the motel, hoping to turn it into a successful family business. However, each finds that their dreams are not as easily obtained as they thought, as life circumstances get in the way. Tahir shows how the younger generation, namely Noor and Salahudin, must pay the price for the failed dreams of their elders.

For Riaz, chasing the American dream means forsaking his Pakistani culture. He doesn’t eat Pakistani foods, practice Islam, speak Punjabi or Urdu, or celebrate Pakistani holidays. Noor, under his guardianship, suffers because of this choice, as she is unable to connect freely with her cultural heritage. Although she finds ways to honor her Pakistani roots, she has to hide her efforts from Chachu. Furthermore, when Riaz’s American dream is derailed because he has to care for Noor, he becomes bitter and resentful. Noor bears the cost of his failed dream as he takes out his anger on her through physical abuse.