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The American Ideal in Comparison to Reality

            A merchant may try to sell to a perspective buyer an apple or an orange, and as the old saying goes, comparing the two are different. Yet at least the objective is the same, the two items are both fruit, and both items are available for the person to eat. Now, if the merchant also had, perhaps, celery and carrots, or pork and beef – basically any items that are suitable for someone to throw together and eventually eat. In a way, this could be a portrayal of the American ideal – presented as something simple yet with so much potential. We are all different, yet how much can we create when all thrown together? Throw away the idea that maybe one was once an apple or a carrot stick – now they are a part of a salad or a stew.
             That is, at least, the idealistic view of American society. Smile, we're different, but we're happy, because we're American. The American song can be different because it can explore so many different aspects of the world, the soul, what it means 'to be' – look at Walt Whitman's various poems, all songs of himself yet bursting to the world and to his god. However, sometimes the merchant in the market is not always honest – does he believe that certain products are better because they have grown from certain areas, such as the way Henry James portrays British customs in comparison to American ones? What if he has stolen his goods from another merchant and is selling his for a lower price? Perhaps the person doesn't plan on purchasing any of goods, and his only intentions is on robbing the merchant. Whichever the scenario, will some of the items be perceived as unfit and impure for the pot? What ends up being thrown away? What has been thrown or cast away already, and who has even noticed? That is the American reality, and it is only through reading the experience of authors without privilege, whether they be women, of color, women of color, et cetera, during the early 20th century, as realism and naturalism began as a literary movement, that this reality, that their experience, began, that they slowly began being heard.

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