What Is an American

In: English and Literature

Submitted By zillyboi
Words 635
Pages 3
People would usually use the term “American” to refer to someone who simply lives in America, but there is more to this word than just that. When I think of an “American” I think of someone who is free to do just about whatever they want, someone who is patriotic and loves what their country stands for, and someone who has the opportunity to acquire a job and work in order to provide for their family. John McCain explains this idea in his short story, “Veterans Day”. Walt Whitman also backs up this definition up in his poem, “I Hear America Singing”. In “Veterans Day,” the author, John McCain tells us a story about his days in Vietnam. He introduces a fellow named Mike Christian who “didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13.” He met Christian at a P.O.W. Prison where they were cellmates along with a group of others. When the soldiers are allowed to receive some care packages Mike Christian gets his hands on some cloth and a bamboo needle and begins sowing an American flag on the inside of his shirt. Eventually, one of the guards finds the flag and Mike is beaten. When he returns from his punishment his eye is almost swollen shut, but he whips out his bamboo needle and starts constructing a new flag all over again. It's easy to see that he takes being an American very seriously and loves his country. This is supported by the quote, “He was making the flag because he knew how important it was for us to be able to pledge allegiance to our flag and country.” And also by McCain stating that saying the Pledge of Allegiance was the most important part of their day. The next piece by Walt Whitman is titled, “I Hear America Singing”. In this poem Whitman tells about various people who are also working various jobs. One man is a boatman, another is a mechanic, while another is a shoemaker. These people all have one thing in common in that they all are singing. This…...

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