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Introduction - “These stories reflect American ideals and introduce concepts fundamental to American identity. Welcome, to [REDACTED]”
*Welcome to Night Vale music plays and the podcast begins after a few seconds*
American Ideals - equality, freedom, money, opportunity, liberty, prosperity, rights, democracy
Rules of the Game (Harris)- In ‘Rules of the Game’ Waverly is a chess playing prodigy. Her mother, Mrs. Jong, takes advantage of this by showing her off to neighbors as if she were a trophy. How tacky! It is only when Waverly lashes out at her mother for her actions that she becomes angry and stops using Waverly to show off. Waverly claims she will stop playing chess, but she gets no reaction from her mother. She then realizes that her life choices don’t really matter to anyone but herself: it is Waverly’s life, not hers.
Reflects American ideals?
The tale of Waverly Jong reflects hard work, success, opportunity and equality because Waverly is working hard to achieve her goal of becoming a great chess player. It also shows how social class can change and that poverty is not permanent in America. Waverly learns to play Chess and changes her life forever by becoming popular. This is the American ideal of prosperity. The ideal of liberty is expressed in this short story when Waverly decides to stop letting her mother use her to show off. In America, it is the child who chooses her destiny, not her parent. Waverly has the opportunity to be whoever she wants regardless of her parents’ choice, which is exactly the opportunity America offers.
Two Kinds (Darlene) - Jing Mei wanted to be a prodigy but didn’t try at all. She wanted her mother to be proud of her for herself, not because she was perfect. Her mother just wanted her to try her hardest
Reflects American ideals?
This reflects American ideals because it emphasizes the freedom the people got. In the beginning, both Jing Mei and her mother wanted the her to be the best she can be, a prodigy. Then, she started to slack because she thought she was talented enough to just wing it. However, she then failed at the piano recital in which she didn’t prepare for. After a while, Jing Mei got tired of the tests and challenges she has to overcome to be a prodigy. Now, she didn’t want to learn piano. Jing Mei still had the freedom to do what she wanted. To be herself. Although her mother had many hopes for her to do better, Jing Mei wanted her mother to be proud of her being herself. “In fact, in the beginning, I was just as excited as my mother, even more so.” Than her mind set changed to, “Why don’t you like me the way I am? I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano.”
Jing Mei didn’t get along with her mother. Although her mother just wanted her to try her best, Jing Mei didn’t understand the need to be anything other than herself. As a result, she rebelled. In the end, she realized that she could have played the piano if she tried.
Script: One of the stories we can look at that reflects American ideals is “The Lost Boys”. “The Lost Boys” starts in a Sudanese war zone and focuses on three brothers. These boys leave Sudan to go to a safer place- a refugee camp. After many years of trying to escape the war zone, the boys finally get an opportunity to come to America. These boys overcame difficulties of money, living arrangements, fitting in, and adapting to a new place. They came from a place where they did not know much. Sarah Corbett states, “I suddenly realize that the boys, in a lifetime of cooking maize and beans over a fire pit, have never opened a box,” the the boys were starving until Sarah Corbett came to help. Additionally, they were unable to distinguish things obvious to the average person, and had to ask their caseworker, “Can you tell me, please, is it now night or day?” Yes, assimilation was difficult for the brothers, but in the end they were able to find hope. Other Sudanese boys who came from the same place tell the three brothers to keep hope because, “It’s a hard life here, but it’s a free life, too.” This story reflects many American ideals. Some of these ideals are freedom and equality because in Sudan, they were almost killed, but in America they did have that freedom. It also reflects the American ideal of opportunity because the boys were able to get a job, go to school, maintain a normal lifestyle, and attain their hopes and dreams. There was so much more opportunity in America in comparison to Sudan.
Rice and Rose Bowl Blues (Sierra)- The girl wanted to be like one of the boys; playing football and not having responsibilities, but her mother wanted her to be lady-like and do all the things that girls her age should know how to.
In this poem, the author talks about a girl who’s playing football with her brothers. Her mother calls her in to to learn how to wash rice. While she did this, all she could focus on was the football game going on outside. When she was done with the rice she tried to go back outside but her mother called her back in. The next day when she went outside, “Roland” made fun of her for not being able to play football anymore. The author of the poem states “She said it was time for her to learn how to wash rice for dinner” this shows that the mother wanted her daughter how to be ladylike and not act like a boy.
Reflects American ideals?
How did you immigrate here?
How was schooling?
How did you develop to where you are now?
End Card - “I hope you have all learned something about what it means to be an American from this podcast. And as the sun’s final rays drip across the horizon, we are reminded once again how fortunate we are to have been born in this great land of opportunity. Goodnight [REDACTED], goodnight.”
Please tell me if there are any errors and what I should change. Thank you!