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The Theme of Emigration of the Four Main Characters in Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, a Novel by Laila Lalami

Examination of emigration

Hope and other dangerous pursuits was the first novel by Laila Lalami. The book was first published in 2005. The plotting of the book takes into account emigration as the central theme. The author discusses migration about the four main characters; Faten, Aziz, Murad and Halima. The course of events takes place between Spain and Morocco. The book gives a broader scope of the element of illegal emigration between Africa and America. In an attempt to clarify the whole phenomena of migration, Laila gives a documentary of the lives of the characters before relocation and after the emigration. This helps to establish the contributing factors to the act and the consequent fate of migration. In this discussion, a comparison of two of the four main characters will be reviewed. The analysis will help to clarify what the author says about emigration about the characters.

Emigration is brought about by the urge to financial stability. As evident among the characters, their poor economic status is the primary factor that drives them to migration from Morocco to Spain. Faten, for instance, is expelled from school because of influencing Noura, the daughter of Larbi Amrani to join the Muslim religion. Faten lacks academic credentials and cannot secure any job in Morocco. She decides to board the raft to Spain with hopes of securing a position and establishing herself economically. Similarly, Aziz Amor is the urge to provide for his young family. However, Casablanca stands out to be riddled with poverty, unemployment and economic depression. As he boards the raft to Spain, Aziz has high hopes of getting a well-paying job to develop his family. To these among the other characters, emigration stands out to be the only hope for better living (Lalami 2005 p. 56-78).

The author regards the act of emigration as vulnerable to the migrants. Most emigrants engage in illegal immigration in an attempt to cut down the cost. This involves them in risky situations. Aziz Amor and Faten among other characters board a raft to take them across the long journey of about fourteen kilometers. Using a float in the deep waters is risky as it can easily capsize. These characters are also forced to jump out of the raft and swim the remaining part of the journey to the shores, risking to be drowned. The two characters engage in bad episodes to achieve their mission. Lucky enough, they are not caught by the Spanish Guardian Civil, who could have deported them back to Morocco (Lalami 2005 p. 80-122).

The success of the emigration mission all depends on luck. The probability of the emigrants achieving their purposes in states they immigrate to is unpredictable. Laila disapproves the migrants’ perception of establishing a better life in their new nationalities. Faten’s hope of getting a better life turns in to a dangerous pursuit when she falls into prostitution as her only source of living in Spain. She lacks credentials and cannot secure herself a good job in Spain. Faten ends up living a hopeless life, worse than her life in Morocco. All her customers give Faten empty promises of a better living. Aziz Amor’s first attempt to immigrate to Spain is all in vain. He is deported back to Morocco. His second attempt is successful, and Aziz settles in Spain. However, it takes Aziz five years to secure a job and establish himself. He rents himself an apartment and can afford to send money home to his family. This gives the positive side of emigration but equally requires patience. The success of the migrants can however not be predetermined.

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