What is an American? A dictionary definition would say a person who was born in America or a person who immigrated to the United States and become a legal citizen. The limitless answers can be summed up into three categories: the “Melting Pot”, the American dream, and a true American that exemplifies what it means to be an American. In the end though, every American demonstrates American values in their own way. To start with, the extended metaphor, the Melting Pot, refers to the combination of cultures in America. Another extended metaphor for America is calling it a Salad Bowl.
The Melting Pot was the original metaphor for America, but controversy caused to make the Salad Bowl metaphor. I think that calling America a Melting Pot is best because it is true that all of the cultures that came to America have blended together to make the true American culture. The melting has had the ability to make an entirely new culture over time.
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As I have said, the Melting Pot has made a new culture that was based on the American dream. My definition of the American dream is a dream based on one’s beliefs that America can bring them a new opportunity whether it be freedom, business related, or religious.
For immigrants, this means that they can have the freedoms that their home country would not permit or could not provide. The true American dream of religious freedom came when the Pilgrims wanted to break away from the Church of England. Another example of the American dream is immigrants coming to the overcrowded Ellis Island in New York looking for a new job opportunity. The American dream is attainable even during our recession because every person has a different way to make their American dream come true.
I think that there has never been a set definition of the American dream, but the general idea has never changed. Lastly, two images that represent different aspects of America are Dr. Seuss and Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Seuss creates a sense of community because of the Grinch. I am sure that a children’s story is the simplest of examples. The Grinch, though mean and grouchy, can find time to stop and celebrate Christmas with his fellow townspeople. An American who stood up for his beliefs is Martin Luther King Jr. he utilized his freedom of speech to give speeches to Americans to let them know about civil rights.
He had a lot of courage to stand up against the police and devoted his life to the civil rights movement. King was also daring for giving public speeches while unprotected from crazed bystanders. In ht end, the definition of an American is different to each individual American. Each American and immigrant coming to America have their own idea of the American dream. The Melting Pot metaphor, the American dream, and a true American that exemplifies what it means to be an American are key points in explaining the true definition of what it means to be an American.