Assignment # 2 — Research Essay Analyzing Anon(ymous)

Ary Sanchez

Professor Jay Polish

ENG 102 Writing Through Literature

May 7,  2018

How does being undocumented or having family members undocumented have an effect on a adolescent’s physiological health portrayed in Anon(ymous)?

In the play Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka it depicts a boy named Anon whos goes on a journey to find his mother Nemasani. At the begin of the play, the chorus of refugees describes where they are from. Even though they don’t tell us where Anon is from we can assume that he represents the chorus of refugees, which is everybody other than Americans. We can also assume that he and his mother are undocumented immigrants. In the past decade many families have immigrated to the united states illegally due to some complications in the origin of their country. This has caused them to live under the shadow of America due to not wanting to be caught by Immigration and Customs Enforcement also know as ICE. Many undocumented immigrants are caught by ICE and are separated from their kids and family only to never see them again. These implications of being an undocumented immigrant can have a serious effects on the physiological health of a kid and adult. These can be depict in the play Anon(ymous), for example Anon who is separated from his mom Nemasni.

WAR in the middle east. POVERTY in Africa. CRIMES in south America. Even though there are other continents with problems these are the main problems. In the recent years many people in the middle east have died due to war between terrorist groups and others. These wars had cause in destruction in cities and homes in which people once lived. Many of this wars had tanks and bombs. Many of these tanks were offered by the united states in order to fight communist. Many of the bombs are from American planes who have not exploded when impact. In the recent years many people have died of starvation in Africa due to poverty. This is because there’s not a lot resource in some parts of Africa. Africa can’t make jobs as there is not much they can produce. Which leads to the country suffering from lack of money, food and other factors. Also many have died in south America due to the high rates of crimes. This is because there is a lot of crimes in south America due to drug lords and gangs. In many differents parts of south america there’s corruption because the drug lords and gangs buying the government and the police. One of these example is Pablo Emilio Escobar who’s net worth was estimated to about $56 billion dollars. He had almost controlled the whole country of Colombia. As he had offer the president to pay Colombia’s debt in order to be left alone and he had also have a puppet president.  That’s the many reasons why people come to the United states of America in the pursed of a better life. Many have sailed thousands of miles and many others have walked 1000 miles in order to reach America and this can take around days. Unlike others who have the luxury to go to another country in hours. Once arriving to this country many have to live in the shadows.

As time passes many of these undocumented immigrants have a stable live, many don’t have the best job in the world but at least it pays for the bills. They have a decent job, they then have a home and finally they have a family. But one day they receive a knock at door. They open the door only to see ICE. As the cops are arresting one parent, the adolescents are seeing this happened. But if the cops are arresting both parent, the adolescents are sent to an orphanage, foster home or foster family. This can cause “trauma occurring to children when families are separated by immigration policies”(Knopf). Also “Forced parent–child separation and parental loss are potentially traumatic events (PTEs) with adverse effects on children’s mental health”(Flores). There was a study conducted by American Psychological Association based on the mental health of citizen adolcensent’s whose parent was about to deported or detained. The study was conducted on 91 Latino U.S.-born children, ages 6 to 12, with mixed-status families. The results “indicate that PTSD symptoms as reported by parent were significantly higher for children of detained and deported parents compared to citizen children whose parents were either legal permanent residents or undocumented without prior contact with immigration enforcement”(Flores). It’s very hard to believe that a children whose parents are in danger of being detained and deported show PTSD symptoms at a very early age compare to those whose parents are legal permanent residents. Also “findings revealed differences in child internalizing problems associated with parental detention and deportation as reported by parent as well as differences in overall child functioning as reported by clinician”(Flores). This means that it affects the development of an adolescent physiological mind, meaning that these kids tend to be sad compare to other kids. Now the solution to this problem is not to separate kids from their parents but to take into consideration the best interest of Latino citizen children and take in factors, like a kids mental health.

The play Anon(ymous) is about Anon who got separated from his mom, and Anon goes on a journey to find her. If we compare our research to Anon(ymous), Anon shows signs of PTSD, trauma, and stress. Even though Anon is not a US citizen he stills shows signs of  PTSD, trauma, and stress. An example of this is on page 15 when Anon got separated from his mom. In this scene he remembers swimming in a storm. This shows of a tragic event that he has flashbacks, which is also known as trauma. But on page 25 he has the same flashback but this time he see his mom vanish which resulted them to be separated which is known as PTSD. This is goes well with my research because Anon and Nemasani got separated resulting Anon to have PTSD and trauma like the kids in the study.

We can assume that Anon is a adolescent, age 12-18. Anon shows signs of PTSD and trauma, but what are the symptoms of PTSD. Well according to the US Government “Children age 12 to 18 have symptoms more similar to adults: depression, anxiety, withdrawal, or reckless behavior like substance abuse or running away”. What about trauma symptoms? The symptoms of trauma are “Loss of interest in previously-enjoyed activities, Angry outbursts, Irritability, Behavioral inhibition, Reckless behaviors, Regression”(villagebh). Trauma and PTSD have similars symptoms. But these symptoms are portrayed in Anon.

If we exam the symptom reckless behaviors in Anon in the play there’s many scenes where he shows reckless behavior. One scene where Anon shows reckless behavior is on page 25. He meets a guy named Pascual whose around the same age as Anon. Anon then gets into a fight with Pascual. Anon then gets on a train with Pascual, which have resulted Anon getting hurt. This is clearly signs of reckless. Another example of reckless is on page 35. Anon meets Strygal who offers a ride to Anon and Belen on his truck. As they are driving, Anon hears people on Strygal’s back of his truck. Anon confronts him but Strygal denies it, Anon then tells him to stop the truck but Strygal doesn’t stop. Anon then tries to control the wheel but results in the truck crashing. Anon then sees these people going to place for dead people and those are the people died in truck. This was so reckless of Anon as he got people to die.

Many people from all of the world come to America to pursed of a better life, something that they didn’t have back home. So many are willing to sail and walk miles to get to America. Many are undocumented immigrants, who then establish a life here. These undocumented immigrants are detained and deported to their country of origin. But what people don’t realize is that this can cause some serious implications for a kid who is separated from his parents, like trauma and PTSD. A perfected example of this Anon who has trauma and PTSD and this can be seen in the play Anon(ymous).


Web Cited

Knopf, Alison. “Immigration Policy: Separating Children from Parents Unnecessary and Costly Trauma.” Freshwater Biology, Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111), 25 Sept. 2017,

Flores, Rojas. “APA PsycNET Login.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, May 2017,

US Government. “PTSD: National Center for PTSD.” Negative Coping and PTSD – PTSD: National Center for PTSD, 1 Jan. 2007, “Causes, Symptoms & Effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Village Behavioral Health,

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