Oliver Goldsmith and Ismael Reed

National Prejudices

In this article Oliver Goldsmith talks about his encounter with a group of men who were engaged in a conversation about the different characters of the nations of Europe. He then goes on to talk about how one of the men put negative prejudices on the Dutch, French, German, and Spanish and then said that the English were the best. At this remark no one at the table disagreed, but Goldsmith. He turned around and said positive things about the Dutch, French, German, and Spanish and said negative about the English. The point Goldsmith tries to get across is that we shouldn’t be people who believe and say we belong only to a certain group, region, or society; we should be people of the world. The second thing Goldsmith talks about is how everyone, even a gentleman, is guilty of putting prejudices on people. He says that prejudices infect the mind and influence conduct and that prejudices can only be fixed by reading, traveling, and conversing with foreigners. The tone of Goldsmith is persuasive and informative. He used sophisticated, descriptive, specific language, versus telling. He used long compound/complex complicated sentences, which was hard to understand.

This article is very interesting. It proves that there are prejudices all around us. Prejudices go on between the different races, heritages, and societies and classes. We don’t know or understand what it’s like for the other group or what they stand for so we place a prejudice on them. But, like Goldsmith said, it can be fixed through reading, traveling and conversing. If we did all this we could learn to appreciate each other and become united. Like the philosopher in Goldsmiths’ article said: we should be people of the world, not people of a group or society or specific origin.

Multinational Society

Ishmael Reed talked about how one man told him of Detroit and all the differences that lie there, any from mosques made by Islamic people to Hispanic people. He talked of the paintings in the McDonalds’s Restaurant that had been drawn by Afro-Americans. Reed does not believe in this “Western Civilization” instead he believes that this is a mixture of many different cultures coming together. He discusses the fact that people have been coming here since the discovery of the United States and has been influencing our culture ever since. He also talk about his experience of visiting Texas where Spanish is becoming the second official language, a “white” professor who engages himself in minority culture, and pictures of African and Afro-American mythological symbols handing in the Local McDonald’s restaurant. These real life examples get the readers’ attention and recognition. He argues that it is being fought that even our government system may not have even come from European government systems but instead from the Native Americans that were originally here.

He starts the essay with an example of a Chinese woman eating a pizza in front of a Ty Thuan Duc’s Vietnamese grocery store from New York Times. This example gives the readers a vivid image of their everyday life, people from different races, speaking different languages living in the United States and settling down. And yet, the source New York Times adds up the credibility, convincing the readers that the writer didn’t make up the story himself.

Reed relates to his personal experience about a poet describing a city that has mosques built by Islamic people and meanwhile forty thousands of Hispanic people living there. Turns out, this city is Detroit. This answer is out of the readers’ expectation but not ironic at all, it proves that America’s multinational characteristic is not just revealed in big cities like New York and Los Angles, it is a nationwide

The tone of Reed’s essay is happy and welcoming. It supports the author’s confidence in his point of view and celebrates “multiculturalism.” He used figurative language throughout the essay.

There are many days where I see something that may be influenced by another country that I do not even recognize that it is influenced by another country. Like Reed mentioned about the Mosque in Detroit, I have seen a Mosque many times before and never thought anything of it being made by people that were not originally from here. If you think about all of our histories, all of our family backgrounds, there are very limited amount of people that can honestly say they cannot trace their family back to a time when they were not in America. This tells us that not only are we influencing other countries but other countries are influencing us more than we know.

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