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What Makes an American an American? Essay

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The Melting Pot

What makes an American an American? Is it the reputation of Americans being

Christians, or is it the white European cultures. When an Indian man walks

through your neighborhood, do you suddenly assume he is American, or do you

assume is he from India like most people? This ignorance, or in more polite

terms naivety, is what makes America the melting pot that it is. The melting

pot is "an environment in which many ideas and races are socially assimilated

." (Webster's Dictionary) When immigrants come to America they are forced to

assimilate. The assimilation is not by physical force, but it is more so to

conform to the "normal behavior" of the "American" or to the white European.

Who wants to be called an outcast or to be teased? Assimilation among

immigrants is as frequent as it is, because being a victim of mistreatment is

a detrimental experience.

The melting pot is what makes America what it is. America is a country that

waves its freedom proudly on a material that contains stars and stripes.

America is a country that possesses three cars for each family, and can pay a

dollar and 60 cents for gas. In America you can clearly denounce your

president, while in a third world country you would probably be put to death.

It can be argued that our country is the best country in the world, and it is

taken for granted like our ability to walk and to talk is. Americans welcome

the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food,

the best athletes. But they also welcome the least. The national symbol of

America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the

wretched refuse of your teeming shores,...


... middle of paper ...


...en in many homes

today, religions such as Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism are all

practiced in America to a great extent. In retrospect America is not such a

melting pot as it is a country of integration. The immigrants who came to

America assimilated, but not totally. Whether a country of integration or of a

melting pot, America thrives and has always thrived due to the surplus of

immigrants finding sanctuary in America. Immigrants such as Albert Einstein

and Alexander Graham Bell have enriched this country immeasurably through

their contributions to literature, science, philosophy, and political life.

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless,

tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"(Lazarus)


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