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Rediscovering The Phrase Of The "Melting Pot".

1164 words - 5 pages

Ever since the beginning of the 16th century and even continuing today, immigrants have flowed into America in hopes of obtaining a better life for their families and themselves. Most immigrants that come to America have fled from their homeland in order to have a new start on fresh soil. However, in order to obtain this goal, they often have had to let go of their individuality and become "Americanized". In the process of becoming "Americanized", they eventually lose their own culture and personal identity. This is somewhat contradicting to the theory of the Melting Pot, because America is known for its understanding and acceptance of other cultures, religions, and backgrounds. Only parts of the Melting Pot theory have been adapted to our society today, ultimately leaving cracks that are in dire need to be filled.The literal term 'Melting Pot' refers to bringing various ingredients together, combining and "melting" these ingredients, and as a result a new substance is formed. Figuratively, the phrase refers to a certain group that takes on a common identity. This group may consist of different cultures, races, genders, and languages. In America, the phrase 'Melting Pot' is used to present the nation as universally accepting. However, the theory of the 'Melting Pot' takes away from the individual's personal identity and replaces it with a national identity. Instead of America being noted as a 'Melting pot', we should consider our nation a 'Stew'. The idea of our nation as a Stew would be that each person brings in his or her own unique taste, and as a result it enhances the overall flavor. This idea proposes that we are a nation as one, but we also have our individual identities.If the theme of the phrase 'Melting Pot' refers to a nation that is open minded to the differences of others, then why do we believe that others with different cultures and backgrounds would conform to our American culture? In reality, America is made up of innumerable nationalities - Spanish, African, Mexican, Scottish, Irish, Jewish, English, French, and Italian, to list a few! Can Americans really define what our culture is? It seems that in America, cultures differ between the North, South, East, and West. By taking on the idea that our nation is a stew, we allow ourselves to blend together and form a new flavor without losing our identity or original form. This allows us as individuals to keep our own identity, without fear that we will be looked at as foreigners.If we all trace our ancestry back through our family tree, we will recognize that we are foreigners - either of foreign decent or foreign born (Bourne). The more people are exposed to different cultures and backgrounds, the more likely they are to becoming accepting over time. The theory of our nation being compared to a 'Stew', would allow the nation to take on a uniform role as being united as a whole, but also being accepting of different religions, cultures, genders, races, and languages, without...

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