This document is the lyrics of the song “America” extracts from the movie “West Side Story” which is a musical film of 1961. It sets in New York in the 50’s: it’s the history of theconfrontation between the gangs of Americans and the gangs of Porto Ricans. In the song “America”; the girls of Porto Rico support the life in America whereas the boys criticise it.
To study this song,I’m going to present in a first part the opinion of the girls and then, in a second part the one of the boys.
Firstly, the Porto Ricans girls support the life in America. Indeed, they think thatAmerica is more freedom (“free to be anything you choose”), that you can do what you want and don’t have to pay anything. For them, the life in America is more comfortable; you can have washingmachine, a big house, a good apartment.. ( “Lots of new housing with more space”)However, the USA is a modern country according to them and is developed economically ( “ Skyscrapers bloom in America” ;“Industry boom in America”) so they think that there are a lot of job opportunities and that in America, you can choose your job. Finally, for them the life in America isn’t dangerous for everybody, therehaven’t racism and you are proud of your origin.
Secondly, in opposition, the Porto Ricans boys criticise it; they are against the life in America. Indeed, they think that there are a lot of racialdiscrimination for example at work, in the street or to buy a house because of their skin colour and their accent (“One look at us, and they charge twice” ; “Better get rid of your accent” ; “If yourall- white in America”). Moreover, for them, the immigrants who are in America live in poverty: they don’t have enough money to buy a big house or clothes for example.(“What will you have though tokeep clean?” ; “Twelve in a room in America!”). To finish, the Porto Ricans boys think that America is a country where the life is dangerous, indeed, there is a lot of violence and much of security...