Tuesday, 1 November 2011

De Crevecoeur Task

Despite being written in the 18th Century, many of the ideas that Crevecouer puts forward in his text, Letters from an American Farmer, are still applicable to modern day life.

In the fifth letter of the total twelve from the novel, he states "If they are left with fortunes, they are taught how to save them, and how to enjoy them with moderation and decency; if they have none, they know how to venture, how to work, and toil, as their fathers have done before them" (Ch 5: Pgs 108-9). This is a point which I believe many people in the modern day society could learn a lot from, in today's world, many people's upbringings are dependent on the wealth that surrounds them. For example, people with less money are likely to have a poorer education than people with more money who can afford to live in good areas and afford private schools etc. In many cases, people who are born into wealth often take their comfortable lifestyle for granted and instead of working hard themselves, they take advantage of their parents wealth and choose an easy lifestyle and spend money on unnecessary, materialistic things. Crevecoeur says they should "...enjoy them with moderation and decency". On the other hand, we have Crevecoeur explaining what people with no fortunes should do, this is also something which can be learned from in the modern day world, although there are many examples of people who start off with nothing and end up earning lots of money and doing well for themselves, many people could be lured into giving up because they don't think they can do well without a good education, especially in today's society where even getting the smallest and lowest paid of jobs requires you to have some kind of qualifications. Although turning your rags into riches was easier in the time at which this book was written, it is still possible- I believe the word 'toil' is extremely effective in the way in which it is used, because it suggests an idea of a fight against your upbringing and working away at something to try and make something of yourself.

An example of someone who came from a lower class background and had no further education past school, but has now made more than £50million is Jamie Oliver, he started off as the 'Naked Chef' and has now put a more serious stamp on the world of nutrition, creating his own revolution through working hard at something which he believes in. Despite not being American, he has gone over to the states and been successful- creating his own TV shows and campaigning over there for healthy eating for children. He is just one example of people who have made something out of themselves, despite not going to university or having a brilliant upbringing. In fact, some of the richest people in the world never got a degree at university or college, Bill Gates (creator and co-owner of Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Creator of Facebook) both dropped out of Harvard University and are now both worth billions of dollars.

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