When it comes to the concept of  “America”, most people think of freedom and how Americans are very patriotic. According to Jose Antonio Vargas “American” means that if you work hard enough and achieved enough and you are proud to be in America you are an American. The problem was that it wasn’t the government’s definition and he needed documents. The article titled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant “ the relationship between immigrants and American citizenship. Jose Antonio Vargas states “I convinced myself that if I worked enough if I achieved enough,  I would be rewarded with citizenship.” The author relies on examples throughout his life and how he worked extremely hard through high school, college and his career as a journalist for companies like The Huffington Post but still tried to remain hidden. In my opinion, this source portrays America as a place where hard-working people are rewarded but also portrays America as a place where legal documents are the only thing that matters.

Similarly, David Koch defines America as a concept and if you work hard and are kind to your neighbors and help them out you are an American. According to both David Koch and Jose Antonio Vargas being an American is having a good work ethic and showing love to your fellow Americans. The examples reinforce the idea that being an American isn’t about if you are legal or not but if you show that you want to be in this country and contribute. David Koch states “ It’s just a concept that’s always there. To me it’s just a hard work ethic, a commitment to the country, to the community, always wanting to give of yourself to make the whole better, to make the country stronger, to help your neighbors.” In other words, David agrees with the definition of Jose in that if you are proud to be here and show it through your hard work and love to your fellow Americans you are an American.

In my opinion, American means being kind to everyone and working hard and contributing to the greater good. My experience growing up in Berkeley and being half white and half Japanese helps me see “America” as a place where illegal immigrants are American because they work very hard and love this country and affect my experience in America because I learned from my grandparents who were treated as illegal during WWII that if you work hard and show that you love this country but also remember to never forget the past you are an American. American literature can be defined as literature that shows the many different perspectives and experiences across America.  

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What “American” means by Grant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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