Monday, 4 November 2013

Something which immediately set America aside as a new and innovative society was their lack of an inbuilt upper class. The people who became more wealthy and powerful worked for their privilege as opposed to being born into it as the royal or otherwise moneyed people in Europe often were. This brought into the forefront of people’s consciousness the idea that working hard was a thing that was to be valued and respected.

“Americans work to live while Europeans live to work”

This proverb is one which could be applied to the early settlers of the Americas and could still be used to describe the outlook of people today. De Crevecoeur displays to us, through his glorification of labour, that it is an honourable thing to work for a living. This contrasts with the more
European viewpoint in which pale skin and delicacy was venerated because the less a person was out in the sun labouring the more money they were likely to have because they had other people to do those most strenuous tasks.

I think that De Crevecoeur was portraying this innovative opinion of the American work ethic as positive, the European view is, and was, a less industrious and more leisure focussed one and this could be construed the upper classes separating themselves from the more work focussed, more American, lower classes.

1 comment:

  1. Better late than never! But how is this a contemporary example? That was the task