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Social struggles in The Melting Pot and America - Essay Example

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The struggle one goes through socially shapes one views and perceptions of life in general (Karren, 2006). The poems ‘The Melting Pot’ and ‘America’ are poems that both portray different characters. …
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Social struggles in The Melting Pot and America
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"Social struggles in The Melting Pot and America"

Download file to see previous pages The poems ‘The Melting Pot’ and ‘America’ are poems that both portray different characters. These characters seem unsatisfied or displeased with the current state of affairs in the country. In the poem America, the narrator identifies a boy who describes America in a way that shows his negative attitude towards the state of affairs in the country. The second poem, ‘’The Melting Pot’ also talks about the problem of identity of immigrants. It talks about discriminations experienced by the immigrants in a cynical way. The poem is also narrated by an ‘observer or outsider’. The narrator of ‘America’ is not also directly involved with the activities and events in the poem. He/she is a third party in the setting. These two similarities between the poems is also a notable one and brings the authors’ feelings without having a biased approach on either of them. In ‘America,’ Tony Hoagland helps the reader to visualize and clearly see how Americans have a liking for material things. These material things are not necessary in their lives by specifically using nouns. In the line where he says ‘Then one of pupil with blue hair and a tongue stud, claims that America for him is for a maximum security prison.’ In this line, he portrays a young person, who represents a future generations, who has literally lost hope in his country, and views it as a prison, rather than a home. This is dangerous as the young generation is responsible for the future social wellbeing of people (Hahn, 2003). He goes on to say that ‘Whose walls are made of Radio Shacks, Burger Kings and MTV episodes.’ In this line, he clearly depicts a society that has lost its traditions and dependent on contemporary aspects of life. He also indicates people that indulge in unnecessary and socially unfriendly aspects of life, like fast food restaurants, luxury by mentioning the 70 inch TV and a lack of culture by sarcastically mentioning MTV episodes. Nouns used above help the to visualize the amount of “purchasing” that consumes American lives. Looking at the poem ‘The Melting Pot’, the cultural study theory is one that applies by looking at the large societal context. The poem reveals that there is a culture that the society revolves around in America. Near the beginning of the poem is a line that says ‘Can step in Czech or Greek or Scot. Step out American’. This demonstrates the strength the American culture on immigrants who come to America. Do they not only become Americans by law, but also evolve and change culture wise. Hoagland metaphorically shows the American people’s obsession with money. He also says that money ruins people’s lives, although this statement is questionable. He writes that ‘And I remember when I stabbed my dad in the dream last night, it was not blood but money.’ He retorted, “Thank God-those Ben Franklins were clogging up my heart-and, so I perish happily freed from that which kept me from liberty.’’- The writer shows that the money was preventing the stabbed man from living a happy life. It was as if the money had blocked the flow of life into his heart, and it was a relief that his son had stabbed him. Although money is good, it also has a bad side (Reese, 2004). In this case, id does not bring any good to this man but brings him sorrow. On the contrary, in ‘The Melting Pot’, there is an indication of different social and economical classes with different political ideologies. It is evident that due Sam’s low economic class, he was not given a chance to demonstrate his equality in America. Basing one's argument on Sam’s race, we can see the reason for his stagnation in the social ladder. African Americans (blacks) were not allowed to work to move up the social class ladder. They had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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