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The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe - Essay Example

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The novel The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe tells about the problems on the way of formation of national identity and impact racial intolerance has on this formation. The book is divided into two parts with parallel plots and this makes the novel unique…
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The Englishmans Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe
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"The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe"

Download file to see previous pages National Identity is a very important part of our personality. The formation of national identity is a process of comparing and contrasting the values of our own nation with the values, principles and beliefs of other nations. Certainly, not all the people have an opportunity to travel, thus we have got another reliable and valuable source of information that help us form our views and got different feelings. This is an art. We see films and beautiful pictures, read poems and novels created by our ancestors and also modern artists. Studying the masterpieces of art, we receive valuable information about our history and this helps us form our own identity. We can learn about what is good and what is bad from different examples provided by the pieces of art. Art also serves as a reflection of our own feelings and thoughts. However, not all the information we receive is true and it is important to understand what to absorb and what to ignore.
When the Great War was over, a new important period started began in the life of America. Actually, this period predetermined the future of the United States and its reputation of the most developed country in the world. It was a period of thriving, the time of economic development. There were many new opportunities opened for Americans that time and it is natural that this made the United States attractive for immigrants. The myth of American Dream appeared and many people from different countries in the world left their motherland to come to the United States seeking for better life. The United States became multicultural that caused many problems for immigrants. Instead of American Dream they faced terrible racial intolerance. Guy Vanderhaeghe tells us the story of Harry Vincent, a young scenarist, and his boss, a rich man Damon Chance, who wanted to create a special movie. The main purpose of the Damon Chance is to create a real “American” movie, which would reflect namely American spirit. Chance thinks that the main problem of Americans is the lack of national identity. Here we can trace the attitude of Chance towards immigrants. It seems that he accuses multiculturalism caused by mass immigration of the lack of national identity in The United States. He respects real American nation and is sorry that it does not have its own art. He wants to create a real American masterpiece: “The Germans gave the world their music. The Romans their architecture. The Greeks their tragedies. We recognize the soul of a people in their art" (Vanderhaeghe 108). Chance is irritated by European’s domination and wants to help form separate American national identity. He criticized Griffith: “It was pure genius on [Griffith’s] part to advertise [The Birth of a Nation] as fact. Americans are a practical people, they like facts.… You mark my words, Harry, there’ll come a day when the public won’t swallow any of our stories unless they believe them to be real. Everybody wants the real thing, or thinks they do.… Facts are the bread America wants to eat. The poetry of facts is the poetry of the American soul” (Vanderhaeghe 19). Damon paid Harry Vincent for creating a scenario about a history of a cowboy. The book is divided into two parts with parallel plots and this makes the novel unique. The second half tells us about a boy who is travelling to Cypress Hills. This was done by the author to demonstrate the different interpretation of the same story. We have a chance to trace the process of movie making and compare it with the story of a real boy. The reader can see how the both Harry and the Englishman boy try to resist the actions of their common opponent Damon Chance and how this forms the plot of the book. At first, Harry was impacted by Damon Chance’s aspiration to create a movie and was going to do his best to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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