American Icon

Powerful Essays
Johnny Langford
Mr. Fuller ENG-102
American Icon Essay
October 20, 2003

Michael Jackson: The King of Reinvention
If you look in your copy of Webster's English Dictionary under the I's, you will find the definition for the word "icon." An icon is simply an "image or representation of one who is the object of great attention or devotion; an idol" (Webster's 90). Skipping a few words down, you can find that an idol is "an image used as an object of worship" It takes much to be worshiped. Throughout time, America's pop-culture has been filled with icons of each generation, such as Babe Ruth or Elvis Presley. These icons represent a dream hidden within each of us – the dream, though not easily achieved, is to become extraordinarily successful, no matter the circumstances of your origin. Oddly, as if icon status is not enough, Americans seem to have given each of the few individuals who are exceptionally successful nick-names, proclaiming their superiority over the rest of us, such as Ruth's "Sultan of Swat," or Presley's "King of Rock." As far as pop music goes, there is another individual who has been worshiped in America for many years. With supreme talent and success, like all of the others icons, this person has been given a name of superiority above the rest. This person is Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson has become the icon we know him as today by achieving two accomplishments. He fulfilled the American Dream-to become successful in spite of his humble beginning-by way of his extraordinary talent. Secondly, he has stayed fresh for so many years, increasing his pop-icon status, by constantly reinventing himself. Only through these two achievements could he have become "The King of Pop."
Michael Jackson first came on the scene years ago. He was the seventh of eight children, born in Gary, Indiana. Just like the rest of us, he came began humbly. Though an honest, humble beginning, here is where it changes. At the fresh age of five, Michael

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