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Hunter
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John Steinbeck’s Cannery row casts a darker perspective on the California dream of success in capitalism. His book brings to light the fundamental failure of our society to reward acts of kindness and punish acts of malice. In an attempt to inform us about how our culture has crafted our behavior he wrote, “Things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system.” And those traits we detest, “sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest,” are the traits of success. This absolute “paradox of expectations” (Rawls 143), or conflict... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2010 at Contested Eden
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The Children's Mural is a manifestation of the Chicano dream of safely raising children in their own cultural image. Cultural independence has long been a large part of Chicano culture, and for such independence to continue, a culture must be passed down to the next generation. At the time of the Chicano movement, Latino children were constantly bombarded by negative influences and stereotypes from the media, whites, and even their schools. Chicanos wished to teach their children their own culture, without these negative influences, and without the judgment they faced in the public school systems, and the youths were “thirsty... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2010 at Contested Eden
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The photograph Landscape: Paso Robles taken by Bill Bouton perfectly illustrates the reality of the California dream of prosperity and the cost of thriving in California. Like the plants, there are many people who try and live in the harsh California climate, both native and foreign. Drawn by its promises of elbow room, potential, and excess of sunshine, hoards of people flock to California every year. All the immigrants have this mental image, this fansasy of perfection. They believe in this dream, they focus so much on all their expectations, they often don't realize the reality of California untill it's... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2010 at Contested Eden
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Ever since California first became a shining frontier for Americans, there have been conflicting dreams about its future. It has long been contested whether out fair state should become shining Utopia "where the environment is a much a construction as the society itself", or a celebration of Arcadian beauty," a found natural paradise." William McClung describes the Arcadia as an environment where “the premise of imagery is that the built environment defers to the unbuilt, at most completing or fulfilling its implicit structure" whereas "a Utopian [design] customarily treats the landscape as raw material to be shaped for human purposes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2010 at Contested Eden
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Nov 30, 2010