America: Diverse in Nature, Belief and Ideology

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Concerning America today, many people have a set of "cardboard cut-out" traits that they tack onto American citizens, and what it means to be an American. These traits are typically very broad, and simplistic, and in many cases, are relics of the 50's. The truth, however, is quite different. Although some people try to attach universal traits to Americans, citizens of this country are very diverse in nature, belief, and ideology. I've identified four characteristics most commonly associated with being an "American". First, he believes in the American dream, owning a home and achieving happiness through material goods. Second, he is patriotic, supporting his country through wars and turmoil. Third, he believes in freedom, and that America is a safe haven for freedom. Last, he involves himself in the government, and takes an active interest in political matters. I'll discuss each of this in turn. The American Dream is characterized by settling down in a house, raising a family, achieving happiness through material goods, and financial success through hard work. A perfect example of what people see as the American dream can be taken from the novel The Epic of America, "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement (Adams)." When compared with reality, this assumption falls short of true. In The Great Gatsby, the love Jay Gatsby feels for Daisy is a perfect metaphor for the ideal "American" searching for the key to the dream. In an online article, it is examined, "Jay Gatsby is the epitome of every man trying to find the American dream. For Gatsby, Daisy is his American Dream," and that because "Gatsby refuses to see Daisy’s fau... ... middle of paper ... ...ml>. American Dad!. FOX. 6 Feb. 2005. Television. Armstrong, Billy Joe. American Idiot. 2004. metrolyrics.com. Web. 23 May 2010. Bovard, James. Freedom Daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2010. . Galley, Jenna. “The American Dream in ‘The Great Gatsby.’” Suite 101. N.p., 12 Nov. 2008. Web. 23 May 2010. . Hamilton, Lee H. “What Does it Mean to be an American Citizen?” Congressional Conference on Civic Education. Microsoft Word file. Joel, Billy. My Life. sing365.com. Web. 23 May 2010. . Rockwell, Norman. Freedom of Speech. 1943. kempton ideas Revolutionary. Web. 23 May 2010. .

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