Essay PreviewMore ↓
Values Of US Culture
Both articles, “America 2000: Fast and Furious Fun” by Jerry Adler and “Shopping” by Don DeLillo, examine various things that Americans value as a society. It may seem at first that articles are quite different, given the content variations, however, there is a similarity in purpose that authors are trying to achieve and the audience that they target. Clearly, both authors take a look at what is available to people in the US in terms of fun and entertainment, trying to address a younger portion of middle class Americans. In their own ways, Addler and DeLillo show various aspects of American live in all its richness, wealth and excessiveness. However, there is a hidden message between the lines that is common to both articles and it emphasizes a troubling trend within the society. In my opinion, authors attempt to show that US as a culture has become highly commercialized and at the rate thing are going US will soon be viewed by the world as unintelligent, exuberant, and irresponsible nation.
The current entertainment and consumer retail industries in the US are the biggest insult to basic human intelligence. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week average American is being target by unavoidable and annoying commercials from TV, radio, Internet, highway billboards, etc. Brought by large corporations, they are intended to brainwash the individual and turn him/her into a loyal brainless consumer of the product that is offered. Fake promotions, grand openings and other tricks are designed specifically for these who refuse to become believers right away. For example, how many times one can hear a promotion slogans like “Free set of floor mats with every new car purchase!” or “Free mouse pad with every new computer purchase!”, etc. In my opinion, this is a clear indication of companies seeing nothing but a crowd of morons in their consumers. Jack, the main character of “Shopping”, finds himself in a store and interprets the echoing din as “of the extinction of a species of beast.” In other words, the shopping environment is like a variety of traps set by some beast ready to hunt you down. While shopping, Jack thinks of an event as an endless well being that makes him and his family glory. Reflecting mirrors, smells of chocolates and salamis defeat Jack’s sense of reality. Deep inside he may feel that he is being fooled but in spite of that he chooses to quietly participate because “the beast traps” are too flashy to pass on.
How to Cite this Page
"American Values." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jul 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In a perfect world, we would not have racial tensions and we would all sing Kumbaya together, however, we do not live inside a perfect world. Racial injustice that relates to incarceration in the United States, specifically to those who are African-Americans, is a literal fabrication of our imperfect world and details the thinly veiled allegory of our social apartheid. According to author Glenn Loury, this aspect of our nation’s prison system is the most damaging to our African-American community, wherein said group are being racially profiled and “trapped in the dark vestiges of the ghetto” (Loury, 2008, 57).... [tags: Race, Black people, African American]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- Final Essay on American Values The United States was founded on six essential values liberty, equality, the pursuit of truth, respect for dissent, self-reliance, and tolerance. Each of these values is not only evident today but is necessary to the future success of the United States. The philosophy of our democratic representative government was established based on ancient concepts, and execution of these values. However, as a society we do not always incorporate these values in our decision making process.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
2235 words (6.4 pages)
- Jeans: A Reflection of American Values Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis did not know they were creating an American legacy when they patented the process for riveting pants on May 20, 1873, nor did they get to see the enduring influence of their product before their deaths in the early 1900’s ("Levi Strauss & Co. Timeline"). Nevertheless, since their creation, denim jeans have become symbolic of various American sentiments over the years: the romanticizing of the American West, the social rebellion of countercultures, and a paradoxical preoccupation with individuality.... [tags: Clothing]
1667 words (4.8 pages)
- In his essay “A fire in the basement” Bob Herbert gives many examples that ultimately ask “what has happened to the American values of freedom, justice, opportunity and equality that separated us from other nations?” Herbert says that our society no longer cares to uphold these once fundamental values. Herbert declares that, “If I had one wish for this country it would be for leadership that would arouse the consciousness of the masses to the deceit and injustice all around them”(402) It’s obvious that Herbert is distraught by the current condition of our nation’s value system.... [tags: A Fire in the Basement, Bob Herbert]
842 words (2.4 pages)
- America’s Values In a country as culturally and ethnically diverse as the United States of America it may be difficult to believe so many people from so many different backgrounds could share the same basic set of values. Even if one were to ask any number of random Americans, they would receive varying responses on what their values are. Some may not be able to give a definitive answer. Others could continuously list values without stopping. Although it may appear that there is a broad range of values, taking a closer look one will find that these ideas can be condensed into four major categories.... [tags: United States, Barack Obama]
812 words (2.3 pages)
- American Values Defined: Recognizing the Impact on Identity Marissa Johnston CM200 Minnesota School of Business Abstract American values are difficult to define. The multiethnic nature of the United States results in values that are diverse and even contradict each other. For the purpose of this analysis on American values and how it relates to identity, the focus will be primarily on America’s dominant culture. Americans cultural patterns are evolving; however, the nation still embraces many values that are unique and perhaps, controversial.... [tags: Sociology, United States]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- Values in Early American Literature "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," says the Declaration of Independence. This phrase encompasses three major values shown throughout early American literature. The strong belief in religion, freedom, and a strong will for a better life. Each piece had one or more of these themes within them.... [tags: American Literature]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- Do you ever know that every country has different cultural values and norms that may cause misunderstanding among cultures of around the globe. Of course, I didn’t know that unless I migrated from my country to the USA. Before long time ago, I believed that the world wide is homogenous societies which based upon one culture only and that culture must be my culture as ethnocentrism to all other nations. After I had experienced living in multi cultural communities and different continents around the globe, such as Africa and Asia, where getting involved in other people live are a very common.... [tags: Personal Experience, Autobiography]
1344 words (3.8 pages)
- R.E.M. ....Religious, educational and moral values. These are the three values that affect society today the most, I think. Society may look down on people if they do not live by what society thinks is correct. For example if a persons values are corrupt then society will look down on that person, but if a person has real high morals then society will think that they are fake of just a “goodie”. In society today you will be looked down anyway your moral beliefs are. The first value that I think has a big part in society today is religion.... [tags: essays research papers]
674 words (1.9 pages)
- Values Of US Culture Both articles, “America 2000: Fast and Furious Fun” by Jerry Adler and “Shopping” by Don DeLillo, examine various things that Americans value as a society. It may seem at first that articles are quite different, given the content variations, however, there is a similarity in purpose that authors are trying to achieve and the audience that they target. Clearly, both authors take a look at what is available to people in the US in terms of fun and entertainment, trying to address a younger portion of middle class Americans.... [tags: essays research papers]
1103 words (3.2 pages)
Apparently, US economy is in the best shape it has been in years. However, the overall prosperity and well being unfortunately become a base for ever-growing greed and exuberance in American culture. Without a doubt, Las Vegas, the city that is closely associated with American life style, is a good example of that. In Adlers article, he indicates that huge flows of cash are being poured into the world’s capital of gambling. New multimillion-dollar hotels are rising at constantly growing rate. Hotels that mimic ancient cities like Rome, Venice and Luxor are pilling up with a fresh infusion of modern life – roller coasters. However, what author does not mention explicitly but certainly has in mind is that such developments destroy uniqueness and sentimental values of the city. Thus, enormous mega-projects of Las Vegas compromise the quality of entertainment that it has to offer. Another sign of over excessiveness roots in American culture are seen in Jack, a hero of Don DeLillo’s article “Shopping”. Jack describes how, when unable to decide between two shirts he would purchase both of them. Fascinated with a coil of rope he buys it for no apparent reason, “…just to have it around.” He confirms that he regains some kind of self-confidence with every new purchase no matter how pointless it may be. The author notes that the more Jack buys the less important it seems how much he spends. The process itself is what he seems to be enjoying, the process of exchanging money for goods that makes him feel expensive. Thus, the desire for more and bigger but not necessarily better is quite apparent in many modern Americans.
Irresponsibility has also placed its roots deep inside the American culture.
One of the examples of this can be clearly seen in Adlers article when he describes how on New Year’s Eve an old hotel building in Las Vegas was blown up for viewing pleasure of over 200,000 tourists. Apparently, this was done just for a fun of it, plus the building was old and had to be replaced anyway. So, the organizers of the event saw no harm in letting others watch the demolition. However, what is negative about this is that in minds of younger population it associates fun with destruction of something built by mankind. At yearly ages, such experience may leave a troubling footprint on human personality that may result in fascination with violence as person matures. Another indication of increasing irresponsibility towards future generation is seen in movies as they promote more and more violence. Some of them, released in the past few years, seem to lack plot and purpose and instead, there is constant promotion of guns, explosions and murders. Such exposure to violence for younger American is definitely an act of irresponsibility from current generation. Also, the President of the US has certainly shown the world his childish and unprofessional side in latest crisis in the White House. He, being the face of the nation to outside world, has shown the ultimate irresponsibility of American way.
To conclude, it seems that the economic prosperity that US have been enjoying for the last five or ten years created an atmosphere in which values of American culture have been significantly lowered. High commercialization of all aspects of live seems to spoil and compromise its quality. Thus, foolishness, irresponsibility and greed are the qualities that seem to prevail and rule in modern society. The authors of both articles attempt to raise readers’ attention to this unfortunate trend and try to carry over a message that perhaps it is time for Americans to reevaluate their values.