Although authors Esmeralda Santiago and Colson Whitehead come from divergent backgrounds and writing styles, one theme remains congruent. In their respective novels, When I Was Puerto Rican by Santiago, and The Colossus of New York by Whitehead both revolve around a theme of what it means to be at home—with one’s society and with one’s self. Not only does a sense of home formulate man’s inner conflicts and triumphs, but it also provides a sense of imperfect comfort and nostalgia. The overall message of their stories is achieved through character usage, imagery and tone; however, each author utilizes these literary techniques to a different advantage. Both authors find unique paths to arrive at the same message; although one may relocate and assimilate with new worlds, any effort to abandon the resounding melody of one’s home would be fruitless. This work examines the comparisons and differences between both authors' views on home, and the literary methods through which these views are achieved. Through examination of the two key works, it can be determined that despite their divergent backgrounds, characters of both authors find a sense of peace, acceptance, and sorrow through their views of home. These emotions develop not only their sense of self, but also their direction throughout their lives.
"Winter with the Writers: The Colossus of Home,"
Rollins Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 2
, Article 13.
Available at: https://scholarship.rollins.edu/rurj/vol2/iss1/13