WRITING1 - Essay #1

WRITING1 - Essay #1 - Wu 1 Stephanie Wu Brett McCracken...

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Wu 1 Stephanie Wu Brett McCracken English Comp 3 3 February 2008 A Nation of Contradictions A scantily clad Paris Hilton, with her legs spread wide open, poses in a scandalous national advertisement for Guess while high schools enforce strict dress codes; millions of girls rush to purchase the once unique and uncommonly found UGG boots; and the Harry Potter series are banned from several schools while the Bill of Rights stresses no censorship. American culture today is chock full of contradictions. The American people try to stick to strict Puritan beliefs, but these are often forgotten when it comes to financial gain. They supposedly claim to support individualism, but frequently conform to what others do to fit in with society. Americans also strongly believe in personal freedom and having the right to do what makes them happy, but are willing to jeopardize these rights for the sake of having feelings of security. The people of this self proclaimed ideal country view themselves as a flawless definition of moral righteousness, a colorful image of unique individuality, and a picture perfect symbol of freedom and equality, yet embedded inside their culture is firm evidence that the American country is, in fact, not so perfect. America strives to adhere to strict Puritan ideals, ones that the ancestors first came to the country with in the 15 th Century. Some of these Puritan values include the opposition to sexual dancing, opposition to excessive alcohol drinking, and
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Wu 2 opposition to premarital sex. Americans today make an effort to continue these almost ancient values that, according to Signs of Life , were “deeply repressive of any expression of human sexuality” (Maasik and Solomon 383). An infamous scandal that shook up the entire nation was during the 2004 Super Bowl, when Janet Jackson’s breast was revealed during her halftime show performance with Justin Timberlake. This incident was greatly reprimanded by the nation and most people were appalled to see such an image on national television. Lawsuits and harsh fines were launched against those responsible for this incident. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell reported to CNN.com that “ [they] had a very angry public on [their] hands.” The fact that one exposed breast caused such a controversy proves that Americans still retain some Puritan values. Vanessa Williams, crowned Miss America, was dethroned after her nude photos were publicized. Jennifer Love Hewitt, a famous celebrity, turned down an offer to pose for Playboy Magazine. These examples show that Americans are still very much concerned about the decency of the messages sent out to the country by the media. Although so many indecent images exist in society, there are still people who make an
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ENG 194099212 taught by Professor Brettmccracken during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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WRITING1 - Essay #1 - Wu 1 Stephanie Wu Brett McCracken...

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