Live Or Die, You Choose?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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LIVE OR DIE, YOU CHOOSE? "El Norte" is a movie about a brother and sister who escape from Guatemala to Los Angeles to find freedom. They start off on a good path in the beginning but end up in some big holes. Later in the movie Nacha, the lady that becomes friends with Rosa, makes a statement to Enrique while his sister, Rosa, is in the hospital. Nacha tells him, "your sister may be dying, but you are already dead...." What does Nacha mean, you ask? How was it that Enrique came to be this way? How might Enrique have come to be "dead in the film?" I will explain it to you in the next paragraph.

When Nacha tells Enrique that he is already dead she means that he cares more to take the job in Chicago than see his dying sister that needs him. He was only caring for himself and didn't care at all about his sister.

The real brother that loved his sister and would do anything to keep her happy was gone, dead. Enrique became so selfish by listening to his co-worker, and the guy that offered him the job. They led him to believe that he has to look out for himself, and forget about his sister. "She can take care of herself"; "She can stay here, its not like she's starving or anything", they would say. Enrique was always led to believe that if he wanted to survive you had to forget about others, and take care of yourself. Enrique became dead by letting money and people's foolish opinions take control of his life. He made unwise decisions and paid for it in the end.

What kind of statement is this film making on the immigrants (those people who leave their lives behind, and come to the U.S. to work)? I don't think it's wrong for people to want to come to the U.S. for work. The United States is a country of freedom and peace. I do think it's wrong when people come here and try to do too much to be like everyone else. It takes hard work and the right choices to be successful. It doesn't just happen overnight. If you're going to come here bring some morals with you. If you don't have that at least bring some sensible knowledge. Don't think you can have it all, because you don't. Being rich is not having it all; it's unhappiness with having too much. This film may not be to all immigrants but it's to some. I wouldn't really say that immigrants are leaving their lives behind when they come to the U.S., some do become successful, but those that come here and don't make a living did leave their lives behind. Their life is still where they came from, because they just aren't cut out to have a good life here.

Does the film propose that the immigrants come here to die? Why or why not? I wouldn't say that immigrants come to the United States to die, but they do come to try and make a living. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. I'll say that they come here to be free from whatever they are struggling with. Immigrants come to the U.S. mainly because they know that this is a free, spoiled country, but they realize in order to live they have to work if they want to eat and have a place to rest. America isn't as free as people think. If you don't do anything with your life you'll be left behind or you'll just die.

This place has many opportunities; you just have to find them. Like I said before many immigrants make it in the U.S. but very few don't, especially if you don't speak English.

The film was interesting but a little confusing in some area. For example, in the end with the head hanging from the tree sent mixed signals to my brain. Besides that, the film was excellent and it makes you think why do immigrants come to the U.S. This country might have freedom but we have poverty and laws just like the next guy. So if you come here you aren't dying you're just being eaten away by the different stresses of life and that's everywhere. I learned from this movie that you should make the right decisions in life or you'll pay for it in the end.