— [http://goo.gl/qlYsOI] Crevecoeur —Letter III, What is an American— and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. _______________________Immigration
The earliest articulation of the melting pot concept came in 1782, from J. Hector St. John Crevecoeur, a French officer turned New York settler, who envisioned assimilated Europeans as ingredients in a vast melting pot of cultures. The concept of the melting pot later expanded to include people from different races and backgrounds, as it became one of the cornerstones of assimilation theory. While many academics dispute the relevance of the term, the model of the melting pot offers an idealistic vision of U.S. society and identity, combining people from diverse ethnic, religious, political, and economic backgrounds together into a single people.
In The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. by William H. Gilmanetal. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1960-1982), vol. IX, 1843-1847, ed. by Ralph H. Orthand Alfred R. Ferguson (1971), pp. 299f., the following entry for 1845 can be found:
Well, as in the old burning of the Temple at Corinth, by the melting & intermixture of silver & gold & other metals, a new compound more precious than any, called the Corinthian Brass, was formed so in this Continent, -asylum of all nations, the energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles, & Cossacks, & all the European tribes, - of the Africans, & of the Polynesians, will construct a new race, a new religion, a new State, a new literature, which will be as vigorous as the new Europe which came out of the smelting pot of the Dark Ages [...]
In "Brick Lane" and "Letter III, What is an American?" we have several cultural groups identified in the text, white Europeans, Muslims, Bangladeshi, British, and so on. We know that's what they are because they're identified as such.
However, we know that every author chooses the images and vocabulary, metaphors, and so on--all the narrative techniques we can employ in crafting a story--with an eye toward achieving that particular effect or story. So, for instance, how is Muslims presented here, by what means, and to what effect?
That's what we mean by "cultural identification" and analyzing that culture.
How are those elements presented in these two texts, "Brick Lane" and "Letter III, What is an American?". By choosing one culture in each text (for example, Muslims and Americans), one can handle them in their respective texts. For instance, what does Crévecoeur do in defining American culture, and what does Ali do in defining British (or Bangladeshi) culture? Are they the same? Different? To what effect or what purpose?
One just needs to support one's argument with examples from the texts and understanding of the cultural context.
*The term America is used in this essay to mean the United States of America.
Five-paragraph essay on Crevecoeur —Letter III, What is an American— and Monica Ali's Brick Lane; Interdisciplinary Course with Cultural Studies, Benjamin Madeira, PDF ::
What is an American? What is a Bangladeshi in Brick Lane? ::
The « melting pot » metaphor ::
Either a European, or the descendant of a European ::
Immigrants did not have their own home culture ::
Monica Ali's Brick Lane ::
The Bengali community: an entity that depends on fate ::
Interaction in local communities is a paramount aspect in human sociality ::
Now our children are copying what they see here ::
Individual identity is non-static ::
Nazneen goes on to establish an extra-marital affair ::
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•  Crevecoeur J. Hector St. John de. Letters from an American Farmer. New York: Fox, Duffield and Company. (1904 ). Print. Pp. 48-91.
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•  Modood, Tariq. Remaking multiculturalism after 7/7. Open Democracy, 29(7). 2005. Web. Retrieved on May 2015 from https://goo.gl/5xT42r
•  Parekh, Bhikhu C. “Rethinking Multiculturalism : cultural diversity and political theory” in: Chapter 7: The Political Structure of Multicultural Society. 2000. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press. Print. ISBN: 0674004361
•  Øien-Vikaune, Ane. Cultural Studies Unit 2: Race, and integration theory. Take Credit, NTNU: Lesson 2, 2015. Web. Retrieved on Feb 2015 from (Video) https://goo.gl/B8dZOM and (PDF) https://goo.gl/j0kSZN