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Identity of the "American"

Sasha De La Cruz's picture

Something I found very interesting as I read Fire in the Mirror was the section where Smith asks, “To what extent do people who come to America have to give up something about their own identity to confirm to an idea of what an American is?” When I read this line it made me think of the idea that America, or as I like to clarify, the United States is a melting pot. A lot of people like to take this adjective as a good thing, where I on the other hand think of it as being something negative.


When you are melting things in a pot, you lose the taste of the individual ingredients. Same as United States, when people come from their countries to the United States, to a certain extend they automatically lose a bit of their culture. Small ways that begin depriving someone from their culture can be as small as by automatically having to start learning English, or not being able to run to any market and getting the ingredients they need to make the food they made back home. What I liked about Cliff’s piece is that she brought some of these issues to light, specifically in language.