American Exceptionalism In The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

702 Words 3 Pages
American Exceptionalism was an idea spread by American historians who were teaching at European universities during the Cold war. The idea itself elevated the uniqueness and exceptionality of American culture, life, and democracy. This theory was used to promote America’s status past what it actually was to counter the Soviet threat; like propaganda except bending history in America’s favor. This became problematic when viewing “American Character” because the exact definition depended on who was describing it, the time period, and the particular Americans being discussed. “The American Identity” by Sheldon Hackney describes situations of American Exceptionalism altering historical events to better serve the needs of today. For example, the …show more content…
Leone was Italian and first viewed Americans to be the best people in the world until he actually got to know some American soldiers. This is when he discovered not all Americans are perfectly good or bad. “The Bad” in the film was bad because he killed people for money, and double-crossed his employer to make more money. On the other hand “ The Good” was not perfectly good; he would turn in “The Ugly” for a reward and right before they were going to hang him, Blondie would save him by shooting the noose. He saved “The Ugly” every time depicting him as a good guy, even though he was still committing a crime. This film blurs the line between good and evil, creating a parallel to America; sometimes there is a gray area, which can change over time, and we all struggle because we are all human. This creates a more realistic view of “American Exceptionalism” that Americans might not find …show more content…
Her conclusion was that America had remarkable natural beauty and land stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but if “American Exceptionlism” was true that “they would surely not thus encrust themselves in the hard, dry, stubborn persuasion, that they are the first and best of the human race, that nothing is to be learnt, but what they are able to teach, and that nothing is worth having, which they do not possess (Trollope, 1832, 287). Trollope is saying that if America is truly the best, they should be trying to innovate and grow more than they are, and never settle with what the current situation is. These ideas challenge the conception of our national character for each perspective. Americans have stopped being characterized as one American character, because peoples views change depending on their experience. As illustrated from foreign observers, they depict Americans as great, then changed their perspective once they actually got to know an American, however we are a diverse country all creating our own unique

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