Thursday, August 16, 2007
Critical Comparisons of Two Essays of American Life: Swollen Expectations and Two Ways to Belong in America
The two essays are similar only insofar as describing the immense opportunities that lay before American citizens. Swollen Expectations chronicled the changes in income and property acquisitions of the American public through the decades such as their propensity to purchase larger homes compared to generations before and their taste for larger automobiles, evidenced by the jump in SUV purchases in recent years, despite the oil price hikes. They also now embark on purchasing home appliances laden with technology such as CD players, microwave ovens, and personal computers, among others, notwithstanding the spreading tastes of the American public for different types of international cuisine such as Chinese and
However, while there truly are immense opportunities that lay before American citizens as described by Swollen Expectations, the story of the Indian sisters shows that, in reality, the opportunity to pursue such an American Dream is not the same for everybody else, especially immigrants, regardless of their American citizenship or their possession of the Green Card. The federal government, in the exercise of its inherent powers, can still grab this opportunity away from the Indian sisters through stricter immigration laws, even if the two have totally embraced American culture or retained their Indian heritage. More so, by including prior immigrants in the stricter control measures, their continued stay in the United States and their pursuit of the opportunities that lay before them might only be a pipe dream soon enough.
Nonetheless, the two essays provides a message of how great a country the United States has become – opening its doors to different races and relatively allowing all those who would wish to seek greener pastures the opportunity to do so. In a backdrop of a people’s swelling expectations, starting out immigrants, even American citizens from poorer states, have a competitive chance in determining their destiny inside the United States of America.
1. De Graaf, J., Wann D., & Naylor T. Swollen Expectations. Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide. Ed. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. pp. 425-431.
2. Mukherjee, B. Two Ways to Belong in