Friday, January 24, 2020

Is American Patriotism Also Blind Patriotism? Essay examples -- Americ

It seems that patriotism is one of the most common terms used during times of war. Governments often use propaganda about nationalism to advocate their political views of the hostilities. Sometimes they even force patriotism on their constituents with fear-mongering techniques, which can have dangerous implications. That’s not to say that patriotism is inherently bad—many wars have been won for just causes because of it. However, it is a mistake to only think of war at a national level. There are devastating effects on the soldiers, families, and victims of war hostilities. The stories read this week discuss the struggle between concern for macro-society (patriotism) and micro-society (family/personal interests) during war. While no narrative completely rejects the idea of macro-society, they clearly emphasize the greater importance of micro-society and the consequences of patriotism. â€Å"Loyalties† is the first story which discusses the concept of macro and micro-society. It centers on a family living in an African village during the Nigerian civil war. The father and schoolmaster seem to be the most loyal characters from the beginning, as they are large supporters of the new Biafra. However, by the end of the tale they have switched their allegiances back to Nigeria. Their perspectives clearly reflect the bigger concept of the macro-society. There is an element of humor in the way they switch so drastically from one side to the next. The mother, on the other hand, represents concern for the micro-society, because she only cares about the tasks of everyday life. The tone of the story clearly favors the mother’s perspective. After all, she is the only character whose loyalties remain true throughout the entire story, and the author pokes fun at the politics of the men. Even the mother sees the humor in it all, telling her son, â€Å"Go and collect the goat†¦after all he is now a Biafran goat so we must take better care of it† (144). At the conclusion of this story it is apparent that the concept of macro-society during war has certain limitations and weaknesses, which can greatly impact the individuals and families involved. Just as â€Å"Loyalties† discusses the flaws of patriotism, â€Å"Peace and War† explains the failings of micro-society. It depicts two men who go to war every day and treat it as business. They are casual about their job because the war is at a ... ...e and honor when they are far from the field of battle, as this girl is. Yet when there are personal ties, it is much harder to accept the concept, just as Biyumi struggles with his sense of nationalism. Although many of these stories have specific settings and historical significance, they also speak to today’s world. We have seen a great shift toward patriotism in the years following the attacks of September 11, 2001. It would be wrong not to respect the soldiers who have fought bravely for the United States since that time, just as it was wrong for the wife in â€Å"Peace and War† to underestimate the dangers around her. However, we must also honor the micro-society, both here and in other parts of the world. Will our actions as a nation lead our soldiers into traumatic situations like the soldier in â€Å"An Easy Death†? Or will we consider the families and communities involved, saving ourselves from micro-societal damage? I only hope that we can learn from stories such as these and not take our â€Å"blind† patriotism too far. Works Cited Global Cultures. A Transnational Short Fiction Reader, ed. by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl (University Press of New England, Hanover and London, 1994)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.