The Theme Of Patriotism In J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy

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J.D. Vance’s memoir entitled Hillbilly Elegy, is a captivating story that elucidates his tussle, toleration, and triumph of growing up a “hillbilly” in the Appalachian region of America. This region runs through eastern North America, stretching from Alabama to New York and covering every hillbilly neighborhood in between. Vance, a proud hillbilly himself, grew up in this region, but spent a majority of his time in Jackson, Kentucky and Middletown, Ohio. Vance begins his memoir by describing his definition of “home,” which he then reveals as his great-grandmother’s house in Jackson. Although some of J.D.’s fondest memories are in Jackson, his grandparents, Jim and Bonnie Vance, retreated from this town when his grandmother became pregnant at the age of thirteen. To avoid conflict with their families, the couple packed up and moved to Middletown, where they lost their first child. They remained in Middletown, where Jim began working at one of the most economically influential steel companies at the time. J.D. recounts Bonnie’s (also known as Mamaw) obstacles …show more content…
This is an obvious characteristic of J.D. when he decides to defend his country as a Marine. J.D. did not consider himself the “Marine-type,” but he states that “his country needed him…he had no other choice” (157). Later he describes himself as a patriot; he discusses Mamaw and Papaw teaching him that he lives in the greatest country. He talks about patriotic movies and songs that make him tear up, and his “overwhelming appreciation for these United States.” To Mamaw, there were two gods: Jesus Christ and the United States of America, and J.D. loved them both. Although he had rough times growing up, J.D. says that he “knew that better days were ahead, because he lived in a country that allowed him to make good choices” (189-190). This country allowed him to establish the third theme of the memoir: overcoming

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