Analysis Of The Article ' Body Ritual Among The Veldt ' By Horace Miner Essay

Analysis Of The Article ' Body Ritual Among The Veldt ' By Horace Miner Essay

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The author Horace Miner’s article “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” is a comment on the vanity that is present in the American culture. He focuses on a North American Group, which he considers Naciremas which is Americans backwards. Horace Miner demonstrates that attitudes or daily rituals have a convincing sway on numerous establishments in Nacirema society. The writer uses many metaphors to describe this vanity including his statement that “women” try to cover up their impurities by applying makeup in addition to getting surgeries and other things to fix what they think is wrong. However, in reality Miner uses this metaphor to show that the American culture is vain and always tries to fix its faults and mistakes. Basically, Miner uses the entire article as a way to describe American rituals from an outsider’s point of view. Having the understanding that Nacirema is “American; makes it more obvious to appreciate how other cultures view our own.
Throughout Miner uses language from an anthropologist’s point of view. He focuses on the Naciremas and their life. Miner drew and built upon knowledge from the Naciremas social and biological sciences. He used language and terms throughout to describe a culture Nacirema culture which appears to be fictional, when he is in fact sparking of Americans. His language also focused on the body and how this Nacirema culture used many methods to fix and beautify imperfections in the body. Terms that will be explained more detailed in this article.
In the beginning of the article, the writer says, “The anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different people behave in similar situations that he is not apt to be surprised by even the most exotic customs.” I beli...


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...oms and beliefs. Therefore, a significant part of their living is spent on unusual rituals, customs and beliefs to assist in bettering their conditions of the body. The mention of the ‘shrine’ references a bathroom and the ‘charm box’ referring to the medicine cabinet and the medicine man which references a doctor. I’m sure there are many cultures within America that have similar or different rituals, customs and beliefs that may be viewed as strange or bizarre. The Nacirema’s lead the path even though, may be more primitive they are stepping stones for those cultures that currently exist. Overall, I believe Miner focused on this particular culture to emphasize that we often judge when others are not like us. Regardless, of how bizarre another’s way of living, values or customs may be, we must attempt to understand because this is what creates groups and societies.

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