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Reaction Paper on What Is an American - Book Report/Review Example

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I have read quiet a few articles on American history, American dream, American citizens, the idea of America, and so on. The letter titled 'What is an American' written by Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur gives me yet another perspective through which America may be viewed…
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Reaction Paper on What Is an American
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Download file to see previous pages Over a period of just a few decades, America broke free from British rule over the colonists and started its journey in the creation of a country with its own unique set of ideas very different from that of the British. The Author, in his letter, proudly describes this uniqueness in the independent American way of life. An American is free and independent in the true sense, free from all prejudices and at the same time has the opportunity to reap the benefits that is the direct output of the input he is capable of contributing.
The Author, throughout the letter, describes the features that distinguish America from the European countries. He cannot stop wondering about the uniqueness of America that might strike the European visitor. The main aspect behind the idea of America is fairness and equal opportunity. In contrast to the hierarchical society in Europe, the Author feels that there is no sign of aristocracy in America. The rich and poor are not as strongly divided as they are in the European countries. Men who were not even listed in the civil lists of their country are ranked as citizens here. The Author also takes our attention towards the narrow minded view of a European in comparison to the creative and innovative mind of an American. Any person who is industrious can gain employment in America. If a European travels to America and finds employment here, instead of being employed by an arrogant employer, he would find himself with his equal. This equality, more than anything, would give birth to fresh ideas in his mind and motivation that never existed before. America has regenerated itself with new laws, a new mode of living and a new social system. On listing out all these differences, what struck me for the very first time is that America did not gain freedom merely from a political point of view. It gained freedom in the true sense. I can hardly think of any other country under the British rule that has been able to totally free itself from the British culture. These countries surely freed themselves from the British rule, but even to this date, one can find the trails the British left behind. For instance, British ruled over India for nearly two centuries. Though India had a rich culture and its own system that was developed over thousands of years even before the British stepped in, many systems in India including its educational system and legal system are a result of British influence. In America, except for the language spoken and names of some families and towns, there can be found no other trace of the British in terms of the culture and system promoted by America.
The other remarkable aspect of this article is that the Author has been able to point out certain facts about America that holds good even to this day. Yet another feature of America that is not found in any other part of the world is the mixture of people from various breeds and races coming together to be called just Americans. This concept has been beautifully described by the Author with the example of an American family that consists of members from different parts of the world. The Author has also pointed towards the variety of food available, the provisions of Ireland, the grain of Egypt, and the rice of China.
Considering the period in which this letter has been written, it amazes me to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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