A tale of two Americas. And the mini-mart where they collided

Is the American dream obtainable or is it simply an urban myth? Is it not existing because of the separation between two very different Americas? One might think that that separation would be between ethnical Americans and immigrants when it in fact is between one America that still dreams and another America that has resigned to fate.

These are some of the topics Anand Giridharadas touches upon in his TED talk A tale of two Americas. And the mini-mart where they collided. This Essay will analyze and interpret the speech by focusing on the language, use of contrasts, and try to find the message of the speech. Finally, it will discuss the term the American Dream.

The theme goes along with Anand’s message, that the American Dream cannot thrive in a country of separation. How could it? When a person like Raisuddin, who is clearly hardworking and takes risks, ends up shot by a white supremacist and drowns in medical debt when he according to the American Dream should gain an opportunity for prosperity and success instead.

Anand uses formal language to present his message. This is seen through the use of longer sentences and correct grammar. “Other generations had to build a fresh society after slavery, pull through a depression, defeat fascism, freedom-ride in Mississippi.” . He has a varied vocabulary, uses more difficult words, and subordinate clauses “The moral challenge of my generation, I believe, is to reacquaint these two Americas, to choose union over secession once again.”

All these things add to the formality of the language. He uses contractions. “This isn’t a problem …. It won’t be solved…” Contracting words are often used in informal language or spoken language. The fact that he contracts some words in his speech does not necessarily make the language informal. Contractions are common when speaking. Thus, his use of contractions does not make the language informal it simply correlates to the genre of the text being a speech.

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