Individualism in Americans Life
Individualism is a social theory that stands for the freedom, rights, or independent action of any human
ibeing. Individualism is the core of American culture, and it predominates in Americans’ notions. It
influences the way which Americans live and American society all the time from the date of its birth. It has infiltrated every aspect of American daily lives.
Individualism embodies in Americans’ life. Most people know that the individualism is the most
important cultural pattern in America. American culture accepted the British philosopher John Locke’s view；
In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his "Life,
iihealth, Liberty, or Possessions", basis for the phrase in America: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"
All the value, rights and responsibilities are derived from the individual. This view has become the cornerstone of American culture, and we can obviously see it in the American films. As the individualism is the most important cultural pattern in America. People emphasize it; they put it into their films and their TV shows. From the films and TV products we can easily find that individualism is the dominant idea projected in American films and TV products. The main stream of American films is creating a hero who fights for personal freedom, dreams and happiness and brings the stability to community, country and humanity.
Audiences probably not unfamiliar with this kind of film, at least they will not unfamiliar with this type of hero on the screen. Such as Spiderman in Spider-Man, Batman in Batman film series, Iron Man in Iron
Man, Daredevil in Daredevil, Hulk in The Incredible Hulk. These films are adapted from the classic U.S.
cartoon and the characters are the standardized American heroes who embody the individualism in the films. Individualism or we can call it heroism, had become the soul of Hollywood film. Like the American spirit of freedom and individualism create today’s America, the individualism had created and flaunted the Hollywood
films, especially in the big cost movies. No only in the big cost movies but in the small cost movies can also find it was embodied vividly. In the movie Eight Miles we can see that even a man of low origin can be a
Because of the culture of individualism, the society of America is full of competition. Everyone wants to surpass all his rivals and everyone was encouraged by this kind of competition to create a new self. Couple of days ago I saw a movie named High School Musical. In this movie I can find that American people are so
individual, and they never let themselves down. The hero of the movie is a basketball team leader named Troy; he is the sports star in the school. The heroine of the movie is a smart girl named Gabriella; she is an Einstein-like figure. They met by chance during the Christmas holidays and found they were good at singing so they wanted to sign up for the school winter musical. But here comes the problem, first, Troy was afraid of what his friends think, because singing to him is a total disaster and all their friends would laugh at him; second, Troy and Gabriella’s friends who found them fell in love with singing are all surprised and told them just keep their heads in the game and those friends also tried to obstruct Troy and Gabriella. After a long time of struggling, Troy and Gabriella decided to pursue what they really like. They didn’t care about what others
think of them and just be themselves. They withstood the pressures and kept holding on. At last both of them enjoyed the game and the musical. They fully proved that people should not just stick with one position and should do what your hearts tell you to do, do what you want to do most, and get rid of the “before” limit. The
movie told me that we didn’t have to be anything but ourselves which means to be an individual.
Individualism influences the way which Americans’ live and their behaviors. The individualists pay
more attention to personalities. They believe that to truly be an individual, one must have the nature rights and freedom. In America personal privacies are respected and protected by the community. They don’t like
other people meddle in their own affairs. There is nothing good for an American to gossip other people’s
affairs, because that can sometimes let them involved in civil lawsuit.
Individualism is taken as a nearly perfect character by Americans and it stands for the independent and self-pride spirit. Firstly, children’s independence is encouraged by the community. Americans are doomed to
be independence since they were sleeping in the cradle. Infants must not only sleep alone in their little cradles but also alone in a room, separate from their parents. When dealing with adults, children are often treated equally by the adults. Americans deal with routine matters through reasoning. As long as you have reasons you get respect, no matter you were a child or an adult. When the children talk to the adults they often use the words like “no”, “I think”, etc. to express their willing or suggestions independently. Secondly;when they
grow up and go to work, the boss of the company probably just regard the people who have independent personalities as important. Only the independent people have the ability to make the company’s prosperity.
Therefore the staffs once feel themselves are worth to be raised and they will ask the boss for a reasonable raise. If they are not taken seriously they will leave firmly. Third, when they become old, they still keep the aspect of independence. For example many old people are reluctant about receiving assistance. They appreciate individual independence and to take care by others is often considered as underdogs. They think they can handle their own business and don’t need others to help them. On the bus or in the store, we can
often see shambling men with hands trembled. And if there is somebody stepped forward to help them carry the bag or hold them, most of them will not very happy and will keep saying “no, no thank you. I can
Individualism is the core of American culture. It is deeply tooted in the social history of the United States. It is also a key which helps us get a better understanding of American culture. With the effects of Economic Globalization, the connections between countries are closer. Having the correct understanding of the relationships between individualism and American culture can help us interpret American society and culture deeply. To know American history, traditions, customs and the way of life can help us learn English well.
i Jennifer Straw and Dr. Clarice Stasz, Glossary of Critical Terms for Interpreting London,
http://london.sonoma.edu/Essays/glossary.html ii John Locke (1690), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke#cite_note-locke-15