immigrants, literature, socioeconomic class
To begin with, I would like to cite several short quotations from Enok Mortensen's fiction to show his primary themes as well as his writing style.
...for jer Emigranter er der aldrig noget, der er saa godt som det var i Danmark...altid skal I sammenligne...1 [for you immigrants there is never anything as good as it was in Denmark...you always have to compare.]
...herover gik man med en underlig Uro i Sindet altid...bare et hundrede Dollars mere, eller Tusinde...eller Millionen...2 [over here in America you are always restless...only a hundred dollars more, or a thousand, or a million.]
...I det gamle Land var alt ordnet og sikret...S0nnerne gik in Fredrenes Spor, men saa kom de som regel heller aldrig lrengere...her i amerika var Chancen, den gyldne Chance, der altid lokkede og ansporede, altid hidsede ens Sind, altid pressede paa i feberhed Sprending...3 [in the old country everything was orderly and secure...the sons followed in their fathers' footsteps; but as a rule, they never moved up...here in America was opportunity-the golden chance that always tempted and excited-always fired you up...always pushed you to a feverish frenzy.]
...det var ikke blot muligheden af at skreppe nogle Penge sammen, der bandt ham til det adoptered Land, det var Retten til, at mandigt og ene, at staa paa egne Ben...4 [it wasn't only the possibility of pulling enough money together that tied him to his adopted country; it was the right to stand alone and single-handedly succeed.]
...Jeg er Emigrant, det siger i Grunden det hele, deraf kommer ens splittede Sind, ens forbandede Rodl0shed, ingen Stetler er man Hjemme, ingen Stetler i Ro...5 [I am an immigrant and that says it all. Because of this I have a divided heart. It's my damned rootlessness; nowhere am at home; nowhere do I find peace.]
"Enok Mortensen and the Immigrant Experience: A View from the Lower Class,"
The Bridge: Vol. 29:
2, Article 40.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/thebridge/vol29/iss2/40