Education Essay

Education Essay - Pham 1 Duy Stephen Pham Dr. Steinberg...

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Pham 1 Duy Stephen Pham Dr. Steinberg English Composition 3.37 29 October 2007 Essay #1 (2 nd Submission): The Oversimplification of America The word myth is very ambiguous, as its meaning has evolved significantly over time. The traditional definition of a myth is a folktale or a fairy tale, but now it can also be defined as a widely held but false belief or idea (Oxford Dictionary). Basically, a myth is a generalization used to obtain an overview of a certain idea, but myths can easily be fictitious. In the United States, there are many widespread myths that numerous people believe in. For example, a common false notion is that of the model family, which suggests that a perfect family is always happy if it includes the traditional father, mother, and children, and if it follows the typical American lifestyle. Another myth is that of education, which indicates that education is essential for a successful life, and an American education brings forth endless opportunities. Nevertheless, myths are merely oversimplifications that can definitely be false. They are simply used to obtain a general impression of a concept, but they must not be applied to all cases, as each case has its own individual circumstances. By disposing of these myths, society can end this tendency to generalize everything, including the structure of a family and also the educational system. There exists the common myth that the perfect family is comprised of happily married parents (consistently heterosexuals), with ideally two or more children, is perpetuated through television and other forms of media. Growing up in a society full of media and culture, it is nearly impossible not to succumb to the traits of the typical American family mold. After constant reiteration, this myth becomes a mindset. For instance, as Gary Soto grew up, he
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Pham 2 frequently watched the show Father Knows Best , “whose family was so uncomplicated in its routine that” he “very much wanted to imitate it” (Soto 26). Consequently, Soto assumed that in order to make his working-class, atypical family a happy family, he needed to imitate the lifestyles depicted on television, and so he began to persuade his family to emulate American customs such as dressing up for dinner. As a result, through such fictitious stories, Americans tend to subconsciously accept this outlook as true, as it is constantly repeated through different forms of media. A former U.S. senator, Rick Santorum, firmly states that “It is an open and shut
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2008 for the course ENG 3 taught by Professor Steinberg during the Fall '07 term at UCLA.

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Education Essay - Pham 1 Duy Stephen Pham Dr. Steinberg...

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