Friday, October 7, 2011

The Land of Opportunity James W. Loewen Journal

Tanya Barragan
Scott Lankford
English 48A
James W. Loewen

In chapter 7 from “Lies My Teacher Told Me was all about the truth behind social class and the truth of what kind of opportunities we really have in America. But not only that, its also about lies in what we are taught and what people are taught to think. This chapter pointed out why people feel and think the way they do. There was quote form the chapter that I liked because it explains that our books and what we are taught gives us the meanings of not truly understanding the truth. Even today we are blind to what the land of opportunity really stands for. “Since History textbooks present the American past as four hundred years of progress and portray our society as a land of opportunity in which folks get what they deserve and deserve what they get, the failures of working-class Americans to transcend their class origin inevitably get laid at their own doorsteps” (211).

At the beginning of Chapter 7 there were several sayings by different people and their feelings about The Land of Opportunity. One of them really stood out to me because it really said exactly what Loewen was saying in this chapter but in this whole book period. “Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can’t but enough to eat” (204). Because chapter 7 talks about our social class and the way it is, this quote says it all about this chapter and says a lot about our country and how we live in it. It’s very sad when the truth reveals itself; thank God I was taught and raised to know the truth, because I can understand and get what I am reading.

The quote that I chose was an explanation of a girl from a poor family; lower class and she is going to a school that has all middle-class students She is taught that the reason for her family life is because it’s what they deserve and is only taught the facts of what they want her to see.. The quote is showing a confusion of teaching to this girl. She lives one life at home but is taught another at school. The question is how is she supposed to understand this when she see two sides of the world.

The reason that I chose this quote is because it teaches us what our society, schools and books want us to see. But I like knowing the truth and when you are taught something that leaves out many facts; you are not taught everything and not learning the real in which our society and class are truly living.  We need to know what is real and this has been happening forever in our history; leaving out the facts. Why is it that some have more and some have less and should we blame people for what they have. Coming from who I am and what I see, no… we should not always blame people because in some cases life has handed them a whole lot of bull and they really didn’t have a choice. That is the reason that I chose two pictures of Mount Rushmore. There is one that has just our presidents that says lies in America and the other and my favorite with the Native Americans behind them; as there should be a mountain with them. The Native Americans are a great example of what social class is all about and a great example of the quote I chose, because they are people who suffer and not because its their fault; its what was given to them.

1 comment:

  1. 20/20 I'm giving you full points for this one, despite my usual request that you follow the format more precisely in future. My reason here is that you said quite a bit more about your own ideas/reactions -- and I think the graphic illustrations you've provided are quite thought-provoking also.