Two authors that have written about American consumerism, James Twitchell and Ian Frazier, have two different ways of expressing their thoughts in their essays even though the two topics are similar. In Twitchell’s essay, “Two Cheers for Materialism”, he expresses his views in a different way than Frazier does by taking a more serious approach. Frazier on the other hand, attempts a more comical view of the issue in his essay “All Consuming Patriotism”. However different their essays may be, they still both bring attention to our nations obsession with consumerism.
Twitchell criticizes consumerism, or as he would put it, a “mallcondo culture” using a series of facts and quotes from multiple sources. Mostly everything he argues is not just his opinion on the matter, but rather outside facts and his take on them. Twitchell notes that all humans, in all cultures love “things”, but America is still considered the nation of consumers because we have much more stuff than most other places in the world. He focuses on the fact that the issue of commercialism has always been a more Western idea and mentions how our consumer culture is blamed for many things, such as eating disorders, depression, and other things of that sort. However, his belief is that commercialism contributes to the problem and does not directly cause it. He seems fond of the idea that Americans have “spent their way to happiness”, even though some say that money cannot bring one happiness. Twitchell ends they essay by reassuring us about his views on the matter. He views the process of consumption as creative and emancipating because it frees us from the strictures of social class. He also believes that our commercialist culture is on its way to becoming the culture of the world.
Frazier on the other hand, uses a more comical approach in “All Consuming Patriotism”. He thinks that we show our patriotism to our country by going out and shopping to support America. He views America’s consumerism as...
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