Society vs. Individual - In her essay Why Women Smile by...

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In her essay “Why Women Smile” by Amy Cunningham. The author analyzes the reasons that cause women always smile. First, Cunningham talks about her own experience about her smile. Cunningham smiled brilliantly for nearly four decades, people associate her with her smile, and everyone would worry about her if she just has a normal face without smile. Cunningham seems convey the idea of the leading causes of a women’s smile are natural happiness and nurtured with the expectations of society. Cunningham states “Women are expected to smile no matter where they line up on the social, cultural, or economic ladder.” Sometimes the society encourages or even forces women to smile but not for themselves. Then Cunningham mentions that people would smile from babies even though babies aren’t able to comprehend many things. So that smiling is a natural reaction, babies would smile and laugh regularly in reaction to tickling, feedings, hugs, and peekaboo games. Cunningham also addresses other cultures women don’t always smile, that’s not mean they are not happy, but in America, people would think about unhappy without a smile. She explains how women in America are often expected to smile, whether they are happy or not. For example, College professors are criticized for not smiling; political spouses are pilloried for being too serious. They smiled just because of society’s pressure, not a truly smile. Smiling is a natural instinct, but to women it seems like an expectation of society. In considering this, one could ask how does society influence individual? First, it is useful to provide context for this inquiry question. A standard definition of society is “people in general thought of as living together in organized communities with shared laws, traditions, and values”(Webster). By this society, I mean
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the surrounding people one lives with and the social location one grows up in or lives in. A standard definition of influence is “the power to change or affect someone or something”(Webster). By this influence, I not only mean affect, but also it means change and develop one’s behavior, mind and thought. Historically, going back in history, the society of America has changed over time. From independence of America to Civil War and increase of immigrants, America has developed its own culture. America was the colony of England about 200 years ago, but American is totally different from British now. Even many people’s ancestors were from England or Europe, they are becoming American now. America formed its own society, and it influences each individual who lives in here. Globally, American can more accept people with different backgrounds compare to other countries. Everyone has a lot of friends from different countries and most people can speak at least one another language even just a little. For example, many American can speak some sort of Spanish, and many people can use chopsticks, also, people start to eat hamburgers and hot dogs after they come to America. That’s
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  • Fall '13
  • Frederick
  • Sherman Alexie

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