Thursday, 31 October 2013

Letters from an American Farmer

De Crevecoeur’s idea of the new and the exceptional as typically American

From 'letters from an American Farmer' Letter III, Crevecoeur wrote about what it is to be an American, " Here are no aristocratically families, no courts, no kings, no bishops, no ecclesiastical dominion, no invisible power giving to a few a very visible one; no great manufacturers employing thousands, no great refinements of luxury. The rich and the poor are not so far removed from each other as they are in Europe”
I decided to talk about this talk because its shows that there is no ‘class’ divide in America compared to Europe when the author wrote the book. 

I choose this quote because the composition make me think of the actual religion called ‘Mormon’  when we look at the definition of it, it defines ‘honesty, trustworthy, sober, hardworking, family oriented people’. This definition is basically what the life style was during De Crevecoeur’s period.  But I also think we can connect this quote with the ‘Amish’.
The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress,and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology which is also quite similar to the period of De Crevecoeur. The Amish was founded by Jakob Ammann (12 February 1644 – between 1712 and 1730) between 1693 and 1680. The Amish are also hard worker people which use modern way to achieve things (farming, anting..), they believe that the community is at the heart of their life and faith, and that the way to salvation is to live as a loving community apart from the world. Individualism is avoided (which related to ‘the rich and the poor are not so far removed from each other..’)

*Today the population of Amish is 281,675.

This example shows that this vision of America as fresh has survives today. In most of the country in the world, people are free to choose and practice the religion wanted.
In contrast of the quote,  today we can clearly see that in America there is class divide. We can make the difference between a rich area and a poor one. Before it used to be rich or poor, today we have ‘upper class’, ‘middle class’, ‘working class’ and ‘lower class’.
“ We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America’s core cultural institutions.” By Charles Murray- Coming apart. 

 The first picture represents farmer during the 18th century, the second and third picture shows Amish people working.

Class divided:

This picture shows a rich neighborhood of America

This picture represents a poor neighborhood of America, we can clearly see the difference between both picture.

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