UWP essay II

UWP essay II - West 1 Danny West March 11, 2008 Shannon...

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Danny West March 11, 2008 Shannon Pufhal My Country ‘Tis of Thee I did not fully grasp the notion of war until the attacks on the United States of America on September 11, 2001. Like many other Americans, my family hung the American flag outside our front door to show our patriotism, or at least what I thought was patriotism. Today patriotism doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it did directly following the tragedy on September 11 th . In her article “And Our Flag Was Still There,” Barbara Kingsolver talks about how the view of patriotism has changed since 9/11 and how it differs across our country. In Margaret Atwood’s “A Letter to America” she attempts to compare past and present America. Both articles discuss how the American mentality has drastically changed over the past decade; however, Kingsolver makes a more appropriate argument on what “being an American” means in today’s world. Both articles make great points about the societal changes occurring in this country; however, there was one aspect of Atwood’s article that automatically lowered her credibility as she discusses “American Identity”. Atwood’s article is a letter written to America explaining how she feels America has changed over the course of her lifetime. She is attempting to express her idea of what an American is, yet she is from Canada “…up here north of the 49 th parallel.” (Atwood 566). I understand that she is giving her opinion of how the rest of the world, at least her own country, views America, but I have a hard time taking a foreigner’s opinion about what it means to be an American seriously. That might just be my pride, but as Kingsolver so cleverly puts it, “Outsiders can destroy airplanes and buildings, but only we the people have the power to demolish our own ideals.” (606). We the people, meaning us Americans. We can judge ourselves and our own actions as a country, but I don’t need to hear all the things we Americans are doing wrong from a foreigner. This being said, I had a hard time fully appreciating what Atwood had to West 1
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say during the remainder of her article. Atwood’s article also did a poor job convincing me what it means to be an American
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course UWP 001 taught by Professor Pufahl during the Winter '08 term at UC Davis.

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UWP essay II - West 1 Danny West March 11, 2008 Shannon...

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