We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Nobody downloaded yet

Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America - Essay Example

Comments (0)
Summary
Ronald Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. The central metaphor of the mirror is used in Takaki’s book to make his readers think about the way we see ourselves in the past history of our country. He seems to be saying that looking at the past is like looking in a mirror, and that the mirror many people use for this purpose is warped, and it therefore presents a distorted picture…
Download full paper
GRAB THE BEST PAPER

Extract of sample
Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

Download file to see previous pages... In the account of America’s early history, which Takaki gives at the beginning of the book, there is considerable praise for the commitment that was made to equality of all citizens, and the fine ideals of the Constitution. The stories of the different ethnic groups in America, and their respective struggles to achieve access to the most basic rights, reveal that the fine ideals were not put into practice, and that in later centuries many minority group leaders appealed to the Constitution in vain, when they were oppressed and disadvantaged. Frederick Douglass is quoted saying that the Constitution had stated “We the People” and not “We the white people” (Takaki, 1993, 374) This challenges the conventional perception of America, and its idealistic representation of itself as a land of opportunity for all who arrive there. Takaki shows that much of this was rhetoric which applied to selected ethnic groups, who were white, and which excluded other groups including the indigenous native tribes, African Americans, the Mexican immigrants and migrant workers, and many others who wanted to play a full and equal part in American society. The stories narrated in this book are remarkable in their diversity. There is no clear narrative of North versus South, nor even White versus Black, which so many history books use to explain America’s past. The opposition that Takaki uses is that of the many versus the few, in the sense of the many different perspectives, versus the one dominant perspective of the Caucasians. The concept of the “savage” was used by this dominant group to demonize all other ethnic groups, including especially Indians and African Americans, and more significantly to dehumanize them, and erase the cultures that made them different from the Caucasian elite. Takaki explains how Shakespeare’s play The Tempest can be used as a key to unlock the thinking of the white settlers in America. There is an arrogant assumption that the book learning and town-dwelling culture of the Europeans is inherently superior to the “wilderness” of the indigenous peoples, and the “savagery” of their customs (Takaki, 1993, p. 43). The old narrative of early America was constructed on this concept of the wilderness, and by extension all its inhabitants, to be tamed and transformed. Takaki mentions the concept of the wilderness, and the ever changing frontier, as a testing ground for whites, and uses the concept of the crucible to describe other tests of the American people such as the Urban Crucible of the Black South, and the crucible of World War II. The difference between Takaki’s interpretation and the mainstream historical view, is that these testing grounds did not show up pure and strong white Americans, but instead produced lively resistance in the ethnic groups who were the intended victims in these processes. If there is one lasting message from this book, then it is the way it explains the linkage between race and culture that led to America’s shameful history of exploitation and oppression. The technological skills of the incoming ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
CHECK THESE SAMPLES - THEY ALSO FIT YOUR TOPIC
History of Multicultural Arts
In colonial America, most of the art historians from both the white American and African American sides had different depictions of how they showed their characters in portraits. Scipio Moorhead's Portrait of Phillis Wheatley, an African American poet, gives viewers a snapshot of what her contemplative pose depicted in the colonial America.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
History of Multicultural Arts: Early Twentieth Century
In the early 1990s, the federal government ordered the return of thousands of ceremonial masks to the Hopi Indian communities. The masks had been part of a huge collection that had been collected by the museums from different people.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
America history since 1865
Prior to this movement, the negro was still discriminated even after the Emancipation Act of President Lincoln that abrogated slavery. The negro before cannot comingle with the whites and they were often deprived with the opportunity to better their lot in life.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
A history of multicultural America. Questions and answers
Question 1: Who were the original servants in the Virginia colony? The original servants in the Virginia Colony were indentured African servants and indentured White servants who came to the colony intentionally for earning money.
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
History of America
The 1890s saw large scale immigration of people from Europe to the United States. Within one decade 13 million people had crossed over the Atlantic to settle down to make life in the United States. People from across Europe, Irish, Jews and Italians in particular all made their way across the Atlantic to start a new life in the United States of America.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Auster Lawrence: How the Multicultural Ideology Captured America
Auster associates multiculturalism to equality of all cultures or what is supported by egalitarianism. Auster considers multiculturalism in America as a foreign intrusion in American Culture. According to him, America has gained nothing by accepting multicultural elements and by giving them equal rights but it has lost its own values.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
History of Latin America
Only during the middle sixteenth century did Spain gained enormous profits from mining the natural resources of their American colonies.3 Silver and mercury, in particular, which was mined in Peru and Mexico, provided
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
History Essay(Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism)
Roosevelt (Tygiel, 67). He also had an absolute faith in the Way democratic party managed it political plans. In the course of his life, he changed from being a democrat to be a
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Multicultural Sexualities in American History
Institutions and institutions have created various sexualities in the transitional frames in Latin, Native, and North Americans block. It has been recognized that cross boundaries, variances in culture and races have led to the discrepancies in sexual ideologies, imaginations, and behavior among the groups.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki
In this article, Takaki is engaged in a deep conversation with a taxi driver that shades light on how America was discovered and how the different ethnic groups created social constructions between one another. The article reveals the different experiences that the Africans, Japanese, Jews and Native Americans went through after the civil war.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Let us find you another Essay on topic Ronald Takaki's A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America for FREE!
Contact us:
+16312120006
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us