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Myths and heroes : How can myths illustrate the society of the United States nowadays and towards immigration ?

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Par   •  22 Novembre 2020  •  Fiche  •  622 Mots (3 Pages)  •  564 Vues

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Myths and heroes

I’m going to talk about the notion “myths and heroes” and specifically about myths. First, I would like to define these terms. Myths were originally aimed at explaining the origins of humanity and narrating the foundations of a given community.

To try to answer the question “How can myths illustrate the society of the United States nowadays and towards immigration?”, I have chosen 2 separate documents that are particularly relevant.

In the first part, I would like to tell you about the myth of Pilgrims Fathers and how it can be applied today. In a second part I will try to shed light on the importance of migrants in the United States through an illustration of Uncle Sam’s myth.

The first document I chose is a cartoon drawn by Jeff Parker. It was extracted from a web site and published in 2006. It is about the immigration in USA.  

The people arriving on the boat are called Pilgrims. They originally came from England but fled the country after being persecuted for their religious beliefs. They wanted to live somewhere where they could be free to practice whatever religion they chose. They landed in North America in November 1920 in a place they called Plymouth Rock. Contrary to the drawing, when the Pilgrims arrived, not only did the Indians accept their presence, but they went so far as to help them.

I believe the author’s intent was to make an ironic comparison between the myth of arrival of the Pilgrims and the present day issue of immigration in the United States. Indeed, in today’s society we have a barbed wire fence and millions of dollars a year spent to try and keep people out. Most of the immigrants today come for the same reasons as the Pilgrims namely freedom, peace and a better life; but the reception of these immigrations is very different from that of the myth.

This image show that the Indians could very well have rejected the Pilgrims but they chose to help them so why is it different today?

This myth clearly shows that erecting a wall in response to immigration to the USA is ridiculous and a huge mistake.

Then, I chose the Uncle Sam document to talk about this notion.  This document is a cartoon draw by KAL. It was extracted from a magazine, The Economist and published in 2008. It is about immigration which is a major issue in the USA.

There are different characters.

The main character is Uncle Sam. He is wearing red and white striped trousers and a blue tail coat. Uncle Sam character is very well known in the United States and he is the symbol of a powerful and proud America. However, in this cartoon Uncle Sam is bent over and looks old and weak. The other characters in the cartoon could well be immigrants. They seem to be taking care of Uncle Sam.

The cartoonist is trying to describe the state of American society today. Uncle Sam’s image is changing and his power is declining. The cartoonist debunks the myth of Uncle Sam.

He wants to make us aware that it is the work of these immigrants that is keeping the country afloat. Even though many of the jobs they do are small and seem to have no importance, they are most necessary.

To conclude, we can answer the question “how can myths illustrate the society of the United States nowadays and towards to immigration?”. In the past, immigration to the United States already existed and solutions were found, as shown in the myth of Pilgrims Fathers. Furthermore, the 2nd document about Uncle Sam shows that the greatness of the USA did not just happen (it’s only a myth), they needed and still need migrants.

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