America is commonly characterized as the greatest country in the world, the glorious “land of the free and the home of the brave”, “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. This idealization of the American identity conveniently focuses on what people want to hear and blurs out most everything else. In reality, Americans do not live up to the dreamscape created by our views, and we never really have. America is no longer characterized by its freedom and democracy, nearly every first world country can afford that luxury. Nor are we set apart by the great opportunities given to our people, for those are far from universal. We aren’t equal, we aren’t unified, we aren’t kinder or smarter or richer than any other country across the board. It’s easy to find the shortcomings of American culture, all the things we aren’t, but the things we are have proven to be more elusive. First, let’s examine the nots.
Michael Walzer’s essay on “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” raises many points about the American citizen. Specifically, he discusses “American” as an adjective (Walzer). “American” is often associated with American citizens; while this is true, the term can also be applied to Canadians and Mexicans (Walzer). American is such an ambiguous adjective that it is applicable to all countries and individuals that are part of the North American continent. Like Mr. Walzer states, American is not a truly defined term and America is not a country (Walzer). Walzer goes on to introduce a Horace Kallen’s opinion on American’s as anonymous and their “unique” pluralism (Walzer). There are exceptions to all things; the positive to being an American is the fact that Americans can be whatever they choose to be. I feel to be an American one must believe in the American ideals, they must believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. American 's in general may be anonymous, however, upon further reflection they have left the definition of “American” open for each American to define the adjective for themselves.
We Are America America — a land known for its ideals of freedom and new opportunities, a nation built under the idea that every man and women is created equal. However, the definition of what makes a person an American is entirely different from what it is that makes up America,
What it means to be American? Everybody you ask this question to will have a completely different response. Some responses might have similarities but none will be exactly the same. In the beginning of the year my response was “To be an American means having a rich history, having opportunities to better ourselves, and having freedoms.” Unfortunately not everyone has had the same opportunities or freedoms. Native Americans, who are indigenous, dealt with having their freedoms taken away, less opportunities even though they had rich history in this land before it was taken away from them. Look at what Zitkala-Sa endured. Not only that, but African Americans have fought long and hard for freedom and equality as well. W.E.B. Du Bois stood for
With all the controversy in what it means to be American at this point in history, coming to a consensus on the meaning of the term is crucial. The meaning of being an American can often be tied to one’s emotional connection to the United States of America. If
A Woman Ahead of Her Time “The Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave”; these are the words that since 1814 have been used to describe the spirit of the country that we call America. For many, this country symbolizes a history of just that; bravery and freedom. But what does it mean to be an American? Does it simply mean that a person is born in to the country, or does it mean that they empower the character traits used to describe the country itself? When describing America and what it is to be or behave as an American, there are many traits that are often used such as brave, hardworking, strong, having the ability to overcome obstacles, a belief in equality and freedom for all, being a groundbreaker, and having a strong, direct
Do you consider yourself to be an American? Being an American is not just having a citizenship or living in America it is much more. America doesn’t just allow the people inside the country to stay, but America gives everyone a second chance at life and give them more opportunities. America has had a long strive for freedom and independence, making the opportunity of living here that much more special. In this essay I will be reading to you my thoughts of what it means to be an American. Bravery, honor, hope, and the freedom and equality of all Americans are the topics that I feel are most important.
Being an American An American can be defined by a variety of things. A natural born citizen is just as American as an immigrant searching for a new life, just like in “America and I” by Aniza Yezierska. An American can be a rich businessman or it could be a dedicated soldier like in “Veteran’s Day: Never Forget Their Duty” by John McCain. An individual’s definition of being an American is shaped by their life experiences. A person’s view on being an American is different because of experiences, such as being a veteran, being an immigrant, or living in poverty, all of which affect one’s perspective.
America America, the place where hopes and dreams come true, where people come to look for better opportunity is welcome to people from every nation out there. America doesn’t just have one nationality, it is full of immigrants, who come for a better life. The phrases ‘I’m an American’ is a part of our everyday vocabulary, but what does it mean? To be an American means to be yourself and have pride in what you do. Every American has a special skill to contribute to make America what it is today. That’s what makes America unique compared to other countries in the world.
What It Means to be an American Many people dream about being an American. They dream because they envision America as the land of peace and prosperity. But is it? At times it has been, and at times its not. It is hard for the United States to be correct all the time because they have been unwilling designated as the “World Police”. Throughout history there have been examples politically, economically, and socially, where being an American is rewarding and times where it is embarrassing. To be an American means progress. We evolved from a world ruled by white men to a world of equal opportunity.
Throughout the life span of the United States, from its infancy after the Revolution to the present, people have asked, “What is an American?” This question goes far beyond asking who is a citizen or who resides in this land. No, it asks what the identity of an American is?
The American Identity Americans have not only defined themselves by their religious, ethnic and racial identity, but also by their individual freedom and common values. America has become a nation where its people can fight for what they believe in. Our founding fathers have formed America to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Being apart of the American culture and living on the land founded by our leaders specifies the meaning of the American Identity.
Since this great country was first established many intuitive minds have tried to answer the question; "What is an American". This country is full of individuals of many backgrounds, and diversities and each person has a different opinion on this question. In my opinion, an American is someone who values
“America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.” This statement made by Ralph Waldo Emmerson signifies many peoples’ views of what it has meant to be an “American” for the past few hundred years. Still,
16 October 2013 From the Outside Looking In What does it mean to be an “American”? To each individual person it means something very different. For the writer Bharati Mukherjee, who wrote the essay, “American Dreamer”, to be a true American someone has to want to be an American, not just prove that they merited citizenship. Her essay “American Dreamer” goes in depth into this idea and her opinion that as an American one should believe in bringing together the cultures in America. “We must think of American culture and nationhood as a constantly reforming, transmogrifying “we” (Mukherjee 438). For the author James Baldwin, who wrote the essay “Stranger in the Village”, an American is a person who is integrated with other cultures, and