Literary Critique Literature Review Sample
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The American Dream
Almost everybody wants to experience living in the land of milk and honey: America. Others called it the ‘land of the free’ because of the type of government they have and the way that the citizens enjoy their freedom in almost every aspect of their lives. These names that describe America aided other people in coining the phrase ‘The American Dream’. Every person who lives in America has their own meaning of ‘The American Dream,’ but for me ‘The American Dream’ means giving equal opportunity to people regardless of their race, color, and culture and letting them be proud of their heritage. However, this idealistic view of ‘The American Dream’ does not exactly fit the present situation of the country. This paper will try to cover three points why the idyllic view of ‘The American Dream’ had changed over time.
The first point is the continuous racial discrimination in the country, which is known as a melting pot since there are various races living in America. The econd point is the increased individualism in America that causes a bigger gap between and among different races. The third point is the adverse effects of the two points discussed earlier.
The first point, which everybody is aware of, is racial discrimination. It is the atypical treatment on the basis of race that classifies a group as underprivileged. One example of racial discrimination in America is the separation of the houses of colored races (Black-Americans, Latinos, Indian Americans) from Whites. In suburban areas, like in a place called Royal Oak in Detroit, they are wary of renting or selling a house to a Black-American since the Whites have this preconceived notion that they are superior to them. In the story of the ‘Evening Sun’ it was evident there how people discriminated the Blacks. One scene there was when Nancy was not allowed to sleep in her house, but what was more perplexing was the thought that Nancy was beaten up while pregnant. Another appalling scene in the story was that when Nancy tried to kill herself by hanging, the jailer gave a remark that she was full of cocaine and that she would not be a Black person if she didn’t have cocaine in her blood.
The second point is the increased individualism in America. It is not a bad idea to be proud of your heritage in some way but doing it too much is not good at all. The belief that the individual is free to do whatever they want regardless of others just to have self-fulfillment and self-achievement can do more harm than good.
The third point is the adverse effect of the two points presented earlier. Racial discrimination in the society poses a lot of unfavorable effects to the disadvantaged group. For Black-Americans, racial discrimination causes them stress at work since they should be able to adapt in a White workplace norm and endure the acts of blatant, surreptitious, and subtle discrimination by the Whites who linger in the workplace. A person who has strong individualistic beliefs and culture will most likely develop a poor social connection with other people, lower emotional competence, and lower intention of seeking help from others. These are just examples of the undesirable effects of the impaired ‘American Dreams’ of people living in the land of the free.
Just like America, Hong Kong became a country which shelters diverse races from Asia and even across the globe. High tolerance is very much needed for the differing values and cultures its residents have. Every country has its own problems about discrimination and Hong Kong is not exempted from that. The country has a sizable number of mixtures of races, which include the Chinese, South East Asians Countries, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, Latinos, and other races across the globe. One thing that attracts them to living in Hong Kong is probably that is one of the most progressive countries in Asia. Though there are some cases where the effects of discrimination and individualism have been seen in Hong Kong, being tolerant of one’s culture should always be put in one’s mind for a better society. References
Andre, C. and Velasquez, M., 1992. Creating the good society. Issues in Ethic, 5 (1), p.125.
Feagin, J and Mckinney, D. , 2007. The many costs of racism. UK: Rowman and Littlefields Publishers.
Freund, D., 2007. Colored property, state policy and white racial politics in suburban America.
USA: The University of Chicago Press.
Scott, G., Ciarrochi, J. and Deane, F., 2004. Disadvantages of being an individualist in an individualistic culture, Idiocentrism, emotional competence, stress, and mental health. Australian Psychologist, 39, pp.143-153.
National Research Council of the National Academies., 2011. Measuring Racial Discrimination. NY: National Academies Press.
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