Essay on New American Identities Reinforce Old American Ideas

Essay on New American Identities Reinforce Old American Ideas

Length: 1848 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

There may be a thread or fundamental truth that runs through the entirety of American literature. From the earliest American writings to present day publications, American writers are almost always concerned with individual identities in relation to the larger national identity. Even before America won its independence from Britain, Americans struggled with this concept. Look at Jonathan Edwards’s Personal Narrative, written in 1739, or The Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin, written in 1791. Edwards is looking at his relationship to God, other Americans, and the land itself, wondering what is the best way to serve all three oft these entities. Franklin is attempting to create an identity for himself through his, almost assuredly exaggerated, life stories, while cultivating a new American identity for other to follow through his philosophies of success. Struggling with one’s identity within a larger national identity may be as American as apple pie.
This pattern continues today and is prevalent in more modern American writings as well. John Okada’s No-No Boy and Jack Kerouac’s “The Vanishing American Hobo,” two seemingly very different portraits of America, published within three years of each other in 1957 and 1960 respectively, both contain a thread of a confusion of self-identity as it relates to a larger American identity. These two works not only view the relationship between self-identity and country, but also delve into what happens when a country does not accept the identity that an individual has chosen for himself or herself. In No-No Boy, Ichiro and many other Japanese-American characters in the novel must create new American identities for themselves in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat in World War II. In...


... middle of paper ...


...of all Americans. This freedom is what will help America to grow and evolve. The focuses of these two works by Okada and Kerouac, in which they are “Many, but One,” speak to this potential of America.



Works Cited

Kerouac, Jack. “The Vanishing American Hobo.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
Ed. Paul Lauter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. 2360-2366. Print.
Okada, John. No-No Boy. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001. Print.
Sakai, Naoki. “Two Negations: Fear of Being Excluded and the Logic of Self-Esteem.” Novel: A
Forum on Fiction 37.3 (2004): 229-257. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10
Dec. 2010.
Thoburn, Nicholas. “The Hobo Anomalous: class, minorities and political invention in the
Industrial Workers of the World.” Social Movement Studies 2.1 (2003): 61-84. Academic
Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing The Old Testament And The New Testament Essay

- Forgive the length of this, but I really wanted to get this off my chest after so many years. I’ve been a Christian for my entire life, but I do not consider myself a religious person. I was raised in the Lutheran church so most of my beliefs come from there although I don’t really associate myself with any church anymore. When I was around 17, I began to become skeptical and question my beliefs due to being subjected to logical science most of my life. I can’t ignore logic, as that would be, well, illogical....   [tags: Christianity, New Testament, Old Testament]

Term Papers
938 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Old Testament And New Testament

- Old Testament Final how the Old Testament and New Testament are related. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: One of the ways we know that the Old Testament and the New Testament are related is the both contain the infallible written word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16) (Myers) The affiliation between the Old Testament and the New Testament echoes both the endurance and incoherence amongst the Christian and Israelite....   [tags: New Testament, Bible, Jesus, Old Testament]

Term Papers
1049 words (3 pages)

Essay about The Old Testament And New Testament

- Who wrote the Bible. I can assure you that not many people have ever really asked themselves this question and really looked behind it to find out the answer. Several people have probably never wondered who since when they think of the Bible, they think of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I can personally say I have never really thought about who wrote it, since I have always believed it was God himself. For me the Bible is more than just a book, it is a word of God....   [tags: New Testament, Old Testament, Jesus, Bible]

Term Papers
1380 words (3.9 pages)

The Old And New Testament Essay

-     Justice a commonly used term throughout history dividing the world into what 's wrong and right.justice is based on honesty, and equality for all. Justice is the fundamental system that keeps control over within our society. Human justice is based solely on god 's laws who categorize the “just” from “unjust”.The bible is used as a set of guidelines given to the world by god for his children to reach their full potential and achieve righteousness. Within the bible the old and new testament are compared and contrasted to show the ideal image of justice and what it takes to achieve while also showing how each testament handles it differently....   [tags: Bible, Old Testament, Jesus, New Testament]

Term Papers
849 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Social Networking: Online vs Offline Identities

- Tom Marvolo Riddle from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series had stored parts of his soul into different inanimate objects called horcruxes, which caused him to lose control of himself and become the infamous, Lord Voldemort. This gave him the ability to live even though his physical body was gone and his soul continued to thrive in his set of carefully selected objects, patiently waiting for the right time to strike. While the world of Harry Power is only a work of fiction, social networking sites have given some ordinary persons the ability to create their own set of horcruxes, not through inanimate objects but through various social networking accounts....   [tags: Online Identities]

Term Papers
1168 words (3.3 pages)

The Bible : The Old Testament And The New Testament Essay

- Introduction The Bible contains sixty-six books in different styles. In the beginning it tells a story of God’s movement of creation, and the series of stories about the lives of people who overcome battles by using a faith-based journey. With the last sixty-six book of revelation, which is the most difficult book to understand, it describes the details of an eternal place call Hell. To understand substance of the bible you will have to obtain the history, cultural, and the literary background of the bible....   [tags: Bible, Old Testament, Jesus, New Testament]

Term Papers
1976 words (5.6 pages)

The Death Penalty On The Old And New Testaments Essay

- The Holy Bible speaks about the death penalty in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament the death penalty is certain and instantly applied whenever one commits a crime. This began to change in the New Testament, as crimes could be defined as against the law or worthy of death (Holy Bible: NT), and as Jesus Christ began to minister to all people. There are places in the New Testament that suggest that if people break the law they deserve to be put to death, but in other places God speaks of mercy for those who are innocent or have committed a lesser offenses....   [tags: New Testament, Jesus, Bible, Old Testament]

Term Papers
762 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Which Is Better The Old Or New Testament?

- Which is better the Old or New Testament. What significance does one have over the other. These are questions which are slightly complicated to answer, but they can in fact yield some interesting answers. For instance, the answer to the first question is really more of a preference, one person may enjoy reading the Old Testament because it has more of a historical factual feeling at times, while another person may enjoy the New Testament because it often offers the feeling that one is reading a story....   [tags: Old Testament, New Testament, Torah, Judaism]

Term Papers
1212 words (3.5 pages)

A Review of Polities, Authority, Identities, and Change Essay

- Polities, Authority, Identities and Change yielded after more than 20 years of productive cooperation of Yale H. Ferguson and Richard W. Mansbach. Several years before publishing Policies, in their previous book The Elusive Quest: Theory and International Politics, Ferguson and Mansbach exposed the need for displaying an alternative approach to perceiving and interpreting relations among different polities, which served as a foundation for this book. (Ferguson & Mansbach, 1988). This fourth collaborative book came into light of the day as the reaction to the perceived increasing disparity between international relations academic knowledge (theory) and international relations practice (realit...   [tags: Authority, Identities, Change]

Term Papers
1402 words (4 pages)

The Identities of Joseph and Esther from the Old Testament Essay

- The Identities of Joseph and Esther from the Old Testament The Bible is full of common themes, yet there one prominent underlying thread that runs constant throughout is that in order to be influential, people are placed in positions where they are able to assimilate to the common culture, but are still set apart from other ordinary people. Assimilation is defined as the process where a group adopts the customs of the prevailing culture, whereas consecration refers to someone who is set apart as sacred....   [tags: Joseph Esther Religion Religious Essays]

Term Papers
1371 words (3.9 pages)