American Pie Essay, Research Paper
America has stepped into the twenty first century as a dominant economic and multicultural nation of the world. American composition and culture has undergone cultural changes during the last century due to the constant migration of people from all across the world with different backgrounds to USA. In the past century we as Americans have been through various stages of redefining the term what it really means to be an American in this society and what personal values and responsibilities do we attach to them. Upon reading De Crevecouer’s “Letters From an American Farmer,”(1) I was inspired to redefine the author’s anachronistic narrative to more contemporary terms and to shift it to my point of view. I have chosen to discuss the hypocrisy inherent in the life of an American teenager at the close of the 20th century.
The life of an American teen is largely dominated by the theme of hypocrisy (e.g. the fact that every teen girl in US wants to look likes the cover girl of Seventeen (Wong: 1997,2). Here we are lead to make assumptions from the appearance of virtues that are presented to us. Hypocrisy invades many arenas, including society, culture, equality, environment and individualism. Our largest influence is society, which is, by nature, quixotic. The purpose of society has always been to mold every member to fit one of a limited number of archetypes, with the intent of satisfying all involved. This is a goal, which has proven itself unattainable many times throughout history, and especially to the inherent rebellion youth whose ancestors were immigrants to this country. With the nearly impossible goal of becoming unique, immigrants separate themselves into cliques and follow trends, be popular or belong to mainstream Television and other forms of media glorify gratuitous violence and uninhibited sex, while we teens are hopefully taught the opposite in school, at religious institutions, and at home. Infact we are often punished for engaging in the same activities. We are incessantly bombarded with images and stories about the billions of people in the world who are suffering – and who have far more essential concerns than what to wear tomorrow (e.g., how to find food to eat tomorrow). Yet, we generally take all that we have for granted – and worse; we abuse our advantages! The American economy makes no mistake in subjecting the teenage audience to limitless advertisements and other forms of commercialism. This is because we fall for it every time, with nary a forethought. As the youth of America, the greatest nation on earth, we are continually told that we can become anything we want to become, and go anywhere we want to go, yet we are always faced with the harsh reality of our insignificance. Yet, despite it all, we suffer from perhaps the greatest case of ethnocentrism ever known to man: we foolishly believe that we are the best multicultural nation the world has to offer, that we define “civilized.”