Matt Thompson Basic Composition 355:100: G6 Final Draft Paper #5 12/1/10 America’s Craving for Desire The great American author Napoleon Hill once said, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything. ” Hill presents the idea that these desires become the foundation, which in turn creates a power that is superior to the standard. America as a whole has the desire to be better than every other country, even if the consequences are unknown.
Americans believe our way of living has put the country above the rest, for our advancements are much greater than the rest. Barbara Kingsolver in “A Fist in the Eye of God,” explores the theory that America wants to be presented to the world with a positive image, by advancing in every aspect there is to grow in. Kingsolver explains that evolution is the “greatest show on earth”, as long as the new procedures and advancements are for the common good. Kingsolver argues that ethics should be just as a part of the application and uses of technology as profit.
However, Americans also has the desire to stick with what has been practiced for decades. Jack Hitt in “Dinosaur Dreams: Reading the Bones of America’s Psychic Mascot,” expresses the idea that the Americans’ ambition to seek for supremacy has created the image of the tyrannosaurus rex, due to its dominant stature which represents America. Hitt argues that the image of the tyrannosaurus rex should not be altered because it has been around for generations and in turn has made America into what it is today.
The desire to be the best is what creates the almighty ego of America. American exceptionalism, the idea that America is an invincible superpower, dismisses long-term consequences in favor of short-term gain, to currently better the standard of living, which in turn reveals the true image that Americans wish to attain by looking at evolution as a way to gain supremacy. The visual representation of America has been created through the ambitions and desires of dominance that Americans have strived for, throughout the centuries. America has always had the desire to e the most efficient and potent country in the world, while other countries attempt to be like America.
There is no country like America, for Americans are always one step ahead of the competition: “dinosaurs are distinctly American, not only because our scholars have so often been at the forefront of fossil discoveries and paleontological theory but because the popular dinosaur is a wholly owned projection of the nationalist psyche of the United States” (Hitt 128). Hitt notes that the tyrannosaurus rex was generated from Americans ambitions and how Americans wanted to see T. ex, for America had basically found most of these dinosaurs through archeological digs. In Hitt’s essay, countries like China tried to make new dinosaurs based off of their own desires, but America quickly shot them down because the image did not accommodate what Americans wanted dinosaurs to be. Hitt explains that through Americans aspirations, America had used the T-rex to create the powerful country that it is today, making the T-rex our mascot. America may be a dominant country compared to other countries, but that does not mean that everything is done in everyone’s best interest.
Kingsolver says, “But I only have to stand still for a minute and watch the outcome of thirty million years’ worth of hummingbird evolution transubstantiated before my eyes into nest and egg to get knocked down to size” (Kinsolver 213). Kingsolver presents the idea that America can get to the stature it wants to be by following the example of the hummingbird, as the hummingbird has done just fine by itself over the billions of years without technology. Kingsolver explains that America is efficient like a hummingbird, but ultimately gets to that desired efficiency through an unethical approach.
America’s desires are achieved by profit, not by a careful and methodical approach to make American’s lives better. Many countries look down upon the power hungry country that America aspires to be, for almost everything that Americans have made has been through the advancements of technology. Kingsolver says that many products that make America efficient are banned in other countries, as the effects of the products are unknown. America has the image of a dominant and sometimes unethical nation, which has been created and developed by the visual ideas of Americans over time.
The dreamers of America have a similar projection of what America should look like to the rest of the world, but each has different desires to make that projection relevant. The traditionalists of America wish to gain the reputation of the most powerful country by holding firm to the original beliefs and culture that America has created, while the evolutionists hope to show their power through the progression of technology and advancements. Progression is what makes the world go round because if the world doesn’t develop, many civilizations wouldn’t be here today.
Kingsolver says that, “this is our new magic bullet: We can move single genes around in a genome to render a specific trait that nature can’t put there, such as ultrarapid growth or vitamin A in rice” (Kingsolver 209). Genetic engineering has allowed Americans to expand on their desires and make them the best, for things like Bt corn and Monsanto can be created through this process. Kingsolver explains that while many countries like to stick with tradition, America generally accepts the separation from tradition, in order to better themselves through technology.
In turn, Americans believes that the evolution of technology, presents a positive image to the world and how everyone else strives to become like America. Unlike the anti-traditional Americans in Kingsolver’s essay, the Americans described in Hitt’s essay, believe that tradition is the foundation that creates America’s power. Hitt says, “we eat dinosaurs and they eat us. We partake in their dinosaurness, they partake of our humanness” (Hitt 131). Hitt explains that through America’s aspirations, the dinosaur has become America and America has become the dinosaur, since America has followed and studied them more than any other country.
America encourages the practice of learning about dinosaurs because it has uncovered the truth about America and our persistent selves. America has the desire to be the best and the tyrannosaurus rex, in the minds of the world, is the best for it is seen as a dominant creature to all. Hitt states that America is comfortable and content with the old image of the dinosaur, especially the tyrannosaurus rex because it is what the Americans before us believed it to be. If America were to progress forward with the new image, the unappealing image, the hummingbird, would be the new face of America and the more attractive image, the T. ex, would be left behind; creating confusion for the old image created the modern superpower of America. However, America must strive toward evolution and progression because staying with tradition would hinder America’s chance to become the stature that Americans desire. Once America’s ambitions of supremacy are fulfilled, America accepts the world as superficial, while losing sight of reality, leaving it never to be found. Americans realize that America is above the rest, so many naively think there is no need to change anything, for the power that has been desired, has been achieved.
With this irrational thinking, there are long and short-term consequences that can affect us now and even the Americans after us, when many of us are long gone. Kingsolver says, “the potential human ills caused by ingestion of engineered foods remain an open category” (Kingsolver 210). Kingsolver explains that America ignores the consequences, as long as the technology and practices being used are beneficial to Americans needs and aspirations. These new foods, technology, etc. an end up harming Americans and foreign countries that get these distributions, because we don’t have enough research on these new inventions before each and every one of them is given out to the public. America can begin to lose touch with reality, as everything that is created around them is genetically engineered to fit the image of America’s desires, to make us more efficient. While there are consequences that can physically harm Americans, there are also consequences to American’s mentality. Hitt says, “These are all intriguing hypotheses, but the fossils do not give us enough evidence to test whether any of them are correct.
The mystery remains unresolved” (Hitt 137). Hitt states that the images and thought processes of America become the norm when everyone sees things in the same way. Americans believe scientist, researches, etc. without the real knowledge of the subject because it is what has been practiced for centuries. For example, the tyrannosaurus rex was made to fit the bill of America’s brute strength, and in turn it became the mascot of America. America accepts the image of the tyrannosaurus rex because this practice of dinosaurs is what America wants to see.
Hitt explains that the desires to see that tyrannosaurus rex as a powerful creature that represents America, leaves America with short and long term consequences. In Hitt’s essay, he shows that Americans become scientifically illiterate for man does not know the true facts about the world before him. Americans don’t dig deep enough in finding the real truth and in reality, only scratches the surface to find something that is appealing to them. Consequently, the real truths of the world become lost over time.
Through America’s exceptionalsim, their desires cause unintended repercussions that will soon expose America to the est of the world. Desires are an inclination to attain something that men and women want to achieve in his or her lifetime. Americans aspires to be the best and most powerful country in the nation, leaving the rest behind. America has its own image that it has created and how it is to be viewed by the nation. America creates this representation through the process of evolution and tradition. Through evolution, like genetic engineering, America makes advances through technology to make a higher standard for living, while the practice of tradition allows Americans to portray images in a way that is desired.
While Americans accept the advancements that makes America the way that it is, there some short and long term consequences that can negatively affect America. Most of the consequences are unknown to Americans, for concise research was not done to many products given to Americans. Desires can bring many consequences, but in reality, many Americans would not be living if America did not aspire to be the best and raise our standard of technology.