The background context of this text is relevant as it was published in the 1960s – where a big change happened in youth culture. Teenagers lives changed as fashion became hugely important, and teenagers had more disposable income – from having Saturday jobs – and the market had started to make many more things targeted at teenagers knowing they had more disposable income than their predecessors. This is relevant to the short story as one of the main themes is fashion – the writer uses subject-specific lexis regarding fashion, such as: “high heeled shoes”, “tan-coloured suit”, “gay little hat”, “smart handbag”, “dress”, “dapper”, and “gowns”. This provides evidence that fashion is an
Materialism is a problem in American society, everyday people go for the next best thing just to show off their possessions. People show off what they have, and once they get tired of it, they begin to go for the latest, cellular devices, clothing’s, cars etc. According to Tim Kasser, “People develop ideals looking at the lives of their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives” (Kasser52). What he is trying to say is, instead of every person helping each other expand in life, everyone is in rivalry with one another. In order to make an attempt at fixing the American society, making it less materialistic, people must become and think correspondingly of a minimalist. The American society is a materialistic system, causing self-destruction, depression, and health problems.
As times flies, values change, although some infact stay the same. Furthermore, is what was really considered valuable during the Great Depression era, still valued today?
One example of this laid-back attitude towards spending money is when Francis goes home after 22 years and gets $10 from Billy. Francis then jokes with his wife, Annie, about putting “…ten dollars toward the frame” (183) for a picture they like. This minor and seemingly harmless remark digs deeper into the person Francis is. Rather than spending money on food or shelter, he would rather spend it on a useless trinket that does not improve his life. Considering the economic climate at the time coupled with his situation, this joke turns into an ignorant statement which explains why he has “…been broke twenty-two years” (182). Another illumining glimpse into his reckless spending of money is his conversation with his friend, Rudy. In this conversation Francis answers Rudy’s question as to where he got his $10 by saying he found it “Up in a tree.” (192). A harmless quip on the surface but much more telling when looked at in more detail. It is interesting Francis uses a tree to joke with Rudy as his attitude with money seems to stem from this line; Francis seems to think money grows on trees even though he himself does not have much to begin with. All of this thoughtless spending of money is exacerbated when examined with the knowledge of Francis’ debt to Marcus Gorman, a lawyer who got his case of registering to vote 21 times dismissed. There are not a lot of things
“Clearly, our love for affair with our pets has gotten out of control’’ says Bilger author of “The Last Meow”. More and more money today is being spent on pets rather than welfare. Bilger disputes that Americans have spent so much money on veterinary care, food, and accessories for their pets (Bilger). I think he is right because we are wasting billions of money when we can use it on something else, something that has a cause. We can use that money for other things like funding head start programs, lift millions of families out of poverty, help sick children, and saving strays from being put to sleep. If people are going to continue to spends lot’s of money on their pets than people are going
The American wealthy ‘difficult decision’ is which sport car to drive to work: blue, red or yellow. Or where to go for vacation, Paris or New York. American consumerism places gains or importance upon satisfying excessive consumption of material goods or services. Beyond any reasonable needs or even wants. Basic consumption is to satisfy basic human needs-safety, shelter, food, clothing, health care, education. Even though, it is nice to have the opportunity to ride in different cars or visit different places, American consumerism should not places value on materialism, unimportant possessions because corporation influence to newest possession, values and morals have changed, and influential government.
In Rachel Sherman’s “A Very Expensive Ordinary Life: Conflicted Consumption,” the argument centres around the “legitimization” of wealth by the New York’s upper class in order to be seen as not only rich, but morally worthy. The possession of great wealth alongside their less fortunate peers could be uncomfortable also for those that hold the city’s riches. Hence, New York’s affluent has “legitimized” their wealth and consumption, or on a more macro level, the inequality between the social classes in the city in order to feel more comfortable in their spending, and to manage the impression of the wealthy in the eyes of the greater public in the much morally contested behaviour of lavish spending in an unequal society. This is supported throughout the reading by the justification of excessive spending and consumption by the claim that the rich live an “ordinary” life. The need that they feel towards justifying their spending comes to show that their amount of spending is excessive in the eyes of the ordinary person, in which they also acknowledge themselves as well. Nevertheless, the interviewees frown upon being labelled as someone that values luxury over reasonable spending. Hence, they expressed their emphasis on the importance of needs over wants, and that practicality should triumph over extravagance. They see “limited” consumption as a form of self discipline, where excessive spending was only justifiable when it is spent on the family and invested in the children. If
Many Americans love shopping, especially during the holidays, with its captivating discounts and sales, which lead to uncontrollable splurges on irrelevant things. According to Quindlen, this is an example of America’s crazed consumerism and it is absolutely absurd. In her article, “Honestly, You Shouldn’t Have”, she states that there is currently an assumption that purchasing American merchandises symbolize an act of patriotism and at the same time, build a strong economy. She also states that we, as Americans, need to acknowledge important spiritual values such as friends and family rather than material goods.
Notably a lot of are behavior for shiny new objects is fueled from what is seen in everyday existence. The extravagant life style of the upper class which is on constant display across many media broadcasting outlets around the world for everyone to see and desire. Prompting individuals impulsive reaction to make purchases for what they see; even though they know otherwise they can not afford it. The textbook gives numerous accounts to why America has become a nation of mass consumption and what triggers people impulse to spend in relation to material possession and the American Dream.
The average American is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements a day (Marshall). This can include emails, commercials, billboards, and many others. Advertising is a means of informing choice to its viewers, and it is vital to the success of any business. Although advertising is necessary, over the past fifteen years, advertising has had a negative effect on culture by encouraging conformity and having harmful effects on self-esteem as well as financial status.
The Coming of Age in America stories is very appealing to read. Some of the stories had brought back my memories when growing up. It’s commiserating with me on my unfortunate circumstances. The authors tell stories everyone will go through the stage as we grow. We encounter much small or large crisis and unexpected throughout our lives. All of us will have experience difficult at a certain point, and how we cope with most of these experiences. It does not matter how different culture we have, but we all have common experiences. By seeing the similarities can help us to understand and accept other people’s circumstances. It helps to understand different kinds of people and different cultures. Readers have a better understand ourselves, others,
Do we really live in a world devalued by images and symbols? Telling us what we should wear, eat, and use in order to stay within the ‘in’ crowd? And are we really trying to solve our identity crisis in an obsession to buy brands? I think all this might be true, but is it really true?
Many people believe that to be rich one has to have money, but there are many different ways to be wealthy. Humans can be considered to be rich when they have money and objects that other people would also like to have. However, some people are rich with experiences, knowledge, or religion and do not have cars or homes of monetary value. This is the case with one of two brothers who are both rich but in different ways in the writing “The Rich Brother” by Tobias Wolff.
Fashion is more common in current society than in the ancient tribes or peasant communities. Modern society is an open one where class differences are not as severe as in primitive society. Its urban and mobile class structure allows people to develop its own personality taste and implement its new course. The modern world is more open-minded to differences and consequently places few restraints on the cycle of fashion. Our principles of judgment have also changed. Nowadays the individual is evaluated more by observable externalities than by his descents, his personality or his authentic accomplishments. The clothes a man dresses in, the language he speaks, the behaviors he demonstrated have more credence in ascribing a status than his simplicity, patriotism and
Some deem others who do not wear the most fashionable clothes unpopular. In fact, according to the website Daily Mail, “children are so heavily influenced by brands that they bully or shun classmates who do not keep up with fashions and logos” (Clark). For example, in Heather Havrilesky’s essay “Bobos”, she discusses conflicts in school with fellow classmates treating her differently and ridiculing her because the shoes she normally bought were not the name brand shoes everyone else bought (Havrilesky 34). This is merely one example illustrating people being viewed differently and judged because of a misunderstanding of what normal is. In hopes to solve such problems, some schools even implemented school uniforms. By enforcing school uniforms, schools hope that uniforms will decrease the pressure felt by students to wear the most popular trends and lessen the harsh judgement of other students. As stated by the website ProCon.org, “when all students are dressed alike, competition between students over clothing choices and the teasing of those who are dressed in less expensive or less fashionable outfits can be eliminated” (“Should”). By having students dress in uniforms, schools create a new normal that is more equal for all students. Unfortunately, not everywhere as made this change. People are still greatly pressured to fit in by others who believe keeping up with trends is a normal, important aspect of