Fear and Loathing in California
Throughout America's short history, California has been a mysterious land of snowy mountains, sandy beaches and fertile soil. From the Gold Rush to the Free Love movement, it has been a Mecca for the misunderstood, the thrill seekers, and the independent. For over a hundred years people have found what they were looking for in the sprawling lands of California. Throughout the years, the ideals of the misfits who populated California have shaped the mentality of today's citizens. People migrated to California to escape the rigid structure of the Midwestern communities. For many people immigrating to California, the definition of the California Dream was the escape from community. To many, it may seem that California is a cold place with no sense of connection between its citizens, but in fact there is a great deal of community in California. In her essay "A New Perspective on the Dream", Denise Spooner writes of the sense of adventure and allure that California has held since the time of the Spanish settlers. Spooner goes on to explain that many held the belief that Southern California held many opportunities, not only for excitement and fun, but also in business (45). The sprawling land of California has called many people to settle in its hills and valleys throughout the years, and the reasons for settling are as diverse as those who are called. California is a diverse state made up by diverse people. Within its borders one can find sprawling cities with gridlocked highways, and within a 50-mile radius one can also find small tightly knit communities. Sacramento and its surrounding areas provide examples of a larger scale of community every winter when the storms bring flooding across the Delta. The city and surrounding areas come together to supply the population with sandbags and other means of flood protection. The small town communities provide a sort of balance to the lack of small-scale community in the large cities....
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