AJ Miranda


American lit 5th hour

24 October 2017

Final reading response: All American by Bill Crawford

The second half of this story wraps up the story of Jim Thrope and  also reveals values that all of us as Americans should embody. Towards the end of Jim Thropes athletic career he faced a scandal that put his athletic career in jeopardy. What happened was he played professional baseball in a league in South Carolina before going to the olympics. At this time it was illegal to do any professional sport or event before joining the olympics. In conclusion to this scandal Jim Thrope was stripped of his medals and awards he had won over seas. His name was also removed from any historical record that had him winning an olympic event. As a result to this Jim Thrope went back to professional baseball because he was dirt poor and needed money. This Scandal was ultimately the downfall of his sporting career.

There are many powerful themes in this book that I can see fit with everyday life as an American. A theme I recognized was perseverance. Jim Thrope, despite being a great athlete, faced many struggles such as the death of family members, and eventually the scandal. However after all of these struggles he continued to play professional baseball and overcame his adversity. This example helps answer the question “What is the American dream?”. My answer to this question is that the American dream is different for everyone. However what makes all American dreams similar is that they are all goals that we have and we won’t let anyone tell us we can’t do. Obviously everyone isn’t going to have the same goal of striving to be a great athlete or a great writer, or singer, or artist, but everyone is going to strive to be something. The only way you get there is through perseverance, dedication, and ard work.

There were multiple sources I used to write this paper. One of them being the declaration of independence (US 1776). A key phrase that is commonly used in the document is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness”. I believe this is a key value we all need to embody as Americans. Our American dream needs to make us happy. Though we may not like the process of accomplishing our dream, it will make you satisfied when you finally reach your goal. Jim Thrope went through many trials and tribulations but kept going to follow his pursuit of happiness which was becoming a professional athlete. The final product of your goals should make you satisfied, if not then it’s not a good goal.

Another source I used was the documentary American creed from PBS and Citizen Film which is forthcoming in 2018. A key topic that I focused on during the documentary was American pride. This is something we should all have. I believe American pride is taking pride in everything you do every single day. That includes personality and values. In my Novel, Jim Thrope described the overwhelming amounts of pride he experienced while representing the United States during the Olympics. We all should experience the same pride even though we are all on a much smaller stage. We should take pride in being Americans and having the freedom to say and do whatever we see fits under our pursuit of happiness.


Works cited

Crawford, Bill. All American. Wiley. 2004

American Creed. Citizen Film and PBS. 2018.




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