Third World in America paper

Third World in America paper - Morris 1 Courtney Morris Dr....

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Morris 1 Courtney Morris Dr. Daniel Belgrad American Studies 9 November 2009 The Third World in the American Century James Michener’s short story “Fo’ Dolla” and Life magazine’s photo essay “Algerian Eyes Have It,” both portray American attitudes towards the Third World in the American Century. Though the Third World and American society differ greatly, they both show similar aspects of the same themes. The themes that are present in each text include American Universalism and American ethnocentrism. The photo essay and short story both compare and contrast, while also expressing to readers how American life and customs relate and differ. “Fo’ Dolla’ and “Algerian Eyes Have It” depict the Third World and how the aspect of American Universalism and ethnocentrism are present throughout the world and within the text. Life magazine’s photo essay “Algerian Eyes Have It” portrays Algerian women with all but their eyes covered. These women are celebrating by expressing their independence. Finally, they are able to vote Algeria independent after being under French rule for 132 years. Many of these Third World countries are striving to have the same type of government and overall economy as the United States. The aspect of American Universalism centers on the idea that all people want the same way of life. This includes a fair life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Being under the ruling of France greatly restricted their possibilities and shot at independence. In this photo, each characteristic describes a Third World country in a myriad of ways. The way that their entire body, except their eyes, is covered proves how they are still conservative and cultured within their beliefs. However, there are multiple women who are lining up to vote for an
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Morris 2 independent country, which shows how this North African country deeply strives for the concept of American Universalism. In the picture, the women’s eyes are described as intriguing. This is due to the fact that the women’s eyes appear eager, yet unsure. This shows how the concept of a self-governing country is very new to them and can either not stay long or have a positive outcome. A feeling of anxiety is displayed through the women’s eyes. It expresses their fear of anarchy and an unstable government. Some moderates want to keep the tradition of maintaining a connection with France to make certain of economic support. However, it is stated in the photo essay “Algerian Eyes Have It” that others, on the other hand, aspire to maintain “leadership of a nation without ties to France” (Page 33). James Michener’s short story “Fo’ Dolla” greatly grasps the idea of American Universalism. Though both societies differ from one another, they use similar techniques to gain the same outcome. In the story, a Marine named Lieutenant Joe Cable was sent from Philadelphia to a French plantation in the islands to stop a Tonkinese woman from selling grass skirts. She would use outside resources, like men from the Navy called SeaBees for example, to
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Third World in America paper - Morris 1 Courtney Morris Dr....

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