Sunday, October 28, 2012

A contemporary vision of America

One of the key factors in De Crevecoeur’s novel is the upbringing of the American children, this is greatly emphasised in letter three- ‘What is an America?’ Many of the ways of life during that period of time are similar to ways, in which some Americans live today, particularly in the Amish community.
“How they treat them at home, and what they are taught in their places of public worship” I believe this quote is suggesting how the upbringing of children is very important because it reflects on their parents, it also shows how religion is also helping up bring the children of America. This quote could relate to how some Amish communities think today. Religion is a major part of the Amish way of life, and the Amish believe a lot is learnt through religion.

I believe the popular television programme, ‘Worlds Strictest Parents’ is a good example of how some of De Crevecoeur’s discoveries of the past American way of life, are still being adopted today in modern America.  “They are gently held by an uniform from silk cord, which unites softness and strength”. This belief of you have to be cruel to be kind is often still practiced today in many American families. From the clip of Worlds Strictest Parents, the parents describe a number of beliefs which they feel are important in upbringing children, one of them being that if the children are honest and trust worthy, the more freedom children are then aloud to have. They also state that guidelines and boundaries are set in order to keep their children controlled. Another quote which supports the beliefs in the clip from Worlds Strictest Parents is “follow steps of their parents” in the clip the children, explain that they want to be like their parents when they are older, I believe this quote is particularly effective because if every child was to believe this about their parents, then there would be a very similar way of upbringing in America, this believe may only be felt by certain individuals and possibly the Amish community.
“Older parents attached to their business, constantly following useful occupation, never quality of riot, dissipation or other irre- gulaties cannot fail to train up children of the same uniformity” this again supports the believe that if you bring up your children, a particular way in which they follow strict guidelines and boundaries there is no doubt that they will then become more like you as parents. Again something this is still believed today, in religion and other communities.  In the clip, the parents state that their community is counting on them, as though to say it is their duty to bring their children up in a certain way, and it could also be seen that, the parents are referring to America as a whole when they use the word “community”, something which De Crevecoeur previously states in one of his letters.

Another similarity between, De Crevecoeur’s discoveries and today’s modern world is the quote from letter three: “ At schools they learn to read, write a good hand until they are 12 years old” this is still carried out today, in the Amish society, children study at private Amish schools until 8th grade, which is around the age of 12 years, and then they are free to choose what they want to do as work, however the freedom is limited and much like some of the discoveries Se Crevecoeur made , there would have been separate roles for work depending on gender again something which still occurs in the Amish community. Finally De Crevecoeur quotes that “Duties of Christianity as not to be offered the divinity by the commission of evil deeds; to dread his wrath and the punishments” this quote shows how religion has an effect on the upbringing of children during this period of time, and how religion is very important, children should practice religious ways of life in order to live a happy life, they should be made aware of the consequences of not being a practicing Christian and should feel scared and threatened by the consequences. The Amish community also quote that “Family and religion are the most important units in the Amish culture”
(Example, of how the Amish are very relgious and find it difficult to see others who do not share this belife)

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