Friday, December 19, 2008

American DNA?

From Curly:

American DNA?

Passage #1

In this passage, Crevecouer states the American man is a ‘new man’. “He is neither European nor the descendant of Europeans.” Crevecouer thinks of Americans as a totally new and unique race of humans. Americans are like a new element that has just been added to the periodic table; unique in their own way, but belonging in a certain place in order to complete the pattern.
I believe, same as Crevecouer, that the moment a man steps onto the American shore, he becomes a new man. His past clings to him like a child to its mother, and his future calls for him in a soft, silky, irresistible voice that the man can do nothing but obey. His fist step forward changes him- he transforms into an independent man, a stronger man, a man willing to risk everything to achieve success; he transforms into an American.

Passage #2

A man becomes American by ‘being received in the lap of freedom.’ This man must love America ‘more than the place they or their forefathers came from.’ A man who loves America and is proud of America is a true American.
To Crevecouer, American people are selfish- they work for themselves to create a profit for themselves so that they can do well and succeed in life. This is the very reason why Americans are very successful people.
Though all Americans are different, I believe that we all share a common love for our country, a love for our heritage, a love for our own wellbeing, and pride in our nation. I believe that true Americans, past, present and future, share the same inner drive to succeed and the same genuine love of their country.

Passage # 3

In this passage, Teddy Roosevelt strongly believes that ‘hyphenated’ Americans do NOT belong in America. They would cause the ruin of the country. He believes that once people come to America and call themselves American, they should participate in the American culture and forget their past ways. An American is someone who claims he is American. Once he claims he is American, he must be American through and through.
I strongly believe that America is built up on all the different religions, cultures, and ethnicities of other countries and peoples. Our country is a network of diverse cultures all intertwining to form one distinct culture. This culture is what makes America the great and powerful nation that it is. American culture depends on the ideas and religions of all those who came here and brought their country with them. Our nation cannot ignore or abolish the ways of the world.
I agree with Roosevelt in the sense that once someone is a citizen of this country, they should call themselves American. By being a ‘hyphenated’ American, a man shows that he is not fully and completely loyal to America; rather he is still loyal to his home country. Not that anyone should forget their ‘mother’ country, but it takes pride away from America by telling the world you are not just American, but Spanish-American, or French-American. People should be proud to be American. They should not be ashamed. Their only shame is to be ashamed.

Passage #4

Although the theory seems a little far fetched, I totally believe John Gartner’s theory of hypomanics. Gartner believes in that people who have immigrated to America brought a ‘personality quirk’ with them. People with this quirk are willing to take risks, even if the price is never being able to see their family or their home again. These people have a rock-solid gut and an overflowing, self-replenishing source of energy. Over the years, this personality trait has spread throughout the nation, giving America its own ‘breed’ of humans.
Gartner’s theory states that all immigrants have this personality quirk. I find this theory both plausible and unbelievable at the same time. The theory would defiantly explain the open-minded, non-judgmental appearance of America. It also explains why the U.S.A. was the first country to land a man on the moon. Again, it shows why this nation was able to successfully climb out of the crater it fell into during the Great Depression. What the theory doesn’t fully explain is why this quirk is so prominent in Americans. I believe this theory. I can say I agree that Americans have their own special personality quirk- our nation is totally one of a kind.

Passage #5

Similar to John Gartner’s theory, Peter C. Whybrow believes that Americans are defined by their DNA- apparently the majority of us have the D4-7 allele in our genes. Studies have shown and proven the fact that there is a high prevalence of the D4-7 allele in Americans. This gene is ‘the risk taking gene’. Same as mentioned previously, people in America have a personality quirk which, we can assume, is caused by this gene.
Other than the sad fact that Americans’ jean sizes tend to be larger than those of people from other parts of the world and the fact that our lives literally depend on motor vehicles, it is obvious that Americans are physically and mentally different than people from other parts of the world. Most Americans tend to look at the world with an optimistic and tolerant eye that tends to distort our vision so we see things from a new and unexplored vantage point. This view on life gives us the will to take big risks and try to succeed with anything and everything.
I agree with Whybrow’s theory of American DNA. America is a country of success, hard work, and innovation. Many Americans might not seem like the adequate adventurers, but we certainly do like to take big risks. Why? Blame our genes.

Overall, I believe that Americans are defined by their pride and love of this country and, yes, their genes. The American personality in itself is a myriad of cryptic thoughts and actions. The American person is an adventurous, strong-minded, inquisitive, risk-taking leader. Though some Americans do not show this particular personality, I believe it’s hidden somewhere inside all of us. That is what makes Americans American.

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