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Myths and heroes: to what extent does the myth of the conquest of the West defines American culture

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I will first give the definition of the notion "Myths and Heroes"

A) Myth are ancient traditionnal stories about gods, heroes and magic

B) A hero or heroine is a being who has exeptionnal courage.

They can be mythical. Fictional or real free national figures,

Actors, sportmen or the common man or women whose courage is revealed through trying or unexpected circumtances

They both cristallize the values of a society that have created them and are part of the collective identity

In the case of USA , There is the myth of the frontier , of the cowboy and the pioneer.

1) The american dream , the Myth of the american way of life to name a few core issues

2) for this oral presentation , i would like to talk about the myth of the frontier and my question is to what extent does this myth define american culture ? 

3) The outline

i will focus first on the myth it self and then on how it expressed it self in American culture

4) the body developpement

A) The frontier myth .

     As seen in the document studied in class the myth of the american frontier symbolizes

the white man conquest of the american continent . here the world frontier does not have the european meaning of a stable fixed limit .

american history , the frontier was the ever receding limit between the pioneers settlements and the unconquered Indian's territories . It was not a forbidden zone but an opening into an exciting continent to be discovered taned all the more so as the pioneers believed that they were meant , by manifest destiny to expand from east to west .

Thus , the american moving frontier meant that the pioneers , the heroes of the time , had to move forwade and discover new territories : For farmers a more fertile land , for adventurers for miners places to find gold for cowboys and manchers raising cattle on the open mange .

All these people had to reply on themselves , hence the frontier spirit which is the second important myth in the American Culture

B) The frontier Spirit

The Frontier spirits is characterized by strength , dynamism , ressourcefulness , individualism. The frontier heroes are now replaced by the self made - men who are the pionneers of new frontiers is the field of industry , technology , space medecine and social progress.

This has allowed the USA to be at the forefront of progress and have global dominance , be it military , culturally and economically .

The frontier spirit closely interconnected to the American , American Dream , still acts like magnet one people from around the world who are eager to participate to the american ethos with the hope of being the future pioneers


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