An Experiment in Ecocriticism. Reprinted Reuiew and the author.
Checks and Balances Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Democracy in America, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. During and after his voyage to the United States, Alexis de Tocqueville paid close attention to what he saw as a worldwide trend of democratization—a trend that he considered positive in some ways, distressing in others, but in either case inevitable.
Tocqueville thus studied the American example to help understand what France should seek to replicate and what to avoid in its own democratization process.
Although Tocqueville identifies positive aspects of equality of condition, Democracy in America raises the possibility that equality might not strengthen liberty, but rather lead to a new type of tyranny of the majority over the minority.
Tocqueville does identify some positive aspects of striving for equality. He shows that sovereignty of the people—a characteristic of a society in which every person has equal share in power through the right to vote—can generate patriotism. Furthermore, he argues that valuing equality keeps peace and prevents revolution, since the possibility of social mobility which necessarily accompanies the democratic ideal of equality encourages people to strive for gradual improvement of their individual lives instead of fighting to overthrow the government.
Tocqueville, a French aristocrat, sees this as positive, as he is eager to see an end to the revolutionary spirit of working class Frenchmen.
With remarkable prescience writing thirty years before the American Civil WarTocqueville also notes that the one inequality that is most embedded in American society—that between white citizens and black slaves—is the most obvious potential source of violence.
The implication here is that American democracy would be more stable if it were more equal in all respects. However, to Tocqueville, equality does not necessarily make democracy fairer or freer.
When rigid class hierarchies are erased and there is no intellectual or social distinction between people, there is no obvious answer to the question of whom one should listen to or agree with, Tocqueville argues.
Instead, all opinions and ideas have equal weight, and as a result, the opinions that prevail are those held by the most people rather than those held by the wealthiest, most powerful, or most intelligent—and Tocqueville tends to equate these categories with each other.
Tocqueville fears that this will cause people to stop thinking for themselves, preventing true moral and intellectual greatness from arising. Therefore, anyone in the minority may find his or her voice drowned out and will have nowhere to turn when they are wronged.
Even worse, the opinions and laws of the majority will become so pervasive as to seem like common sense, preventing people from thinking for themselves.
How often theme appears:American Literary Themes In American literature, ethnic writers expand on the issues of liberty, opportunity and equality in many different ways, including writing about slavery, forced assimilation, and racism. This is a book of toasts-narrative poems from black American oral tradition.
Along with black folk sermons and lyrics of work-songs, spirituals, and blues, the toasts comprise an extraordinary. 3 Gulshan Rai Kataria, “Racist Stereotyping and Contemporary Chinese American Literature,” in Somdatta Mandal and Himadri Lahiri, eds., Ethnic Literatures of America Diaspora and Intercultural Studies (New Delhi: Prestige Books, ), How are the American literary themes of liberty, opportunity, and equality addressed in ethnic literature?
Buy Answer Posted a . leslutinsduphoenix.com is a platform for academics to share research papers. The Idea of Equality in America. Monday, May 01, L.
John Van Til. It was to preserve liberty that the American Revolution was fought. True, there were other concerns, but it was to preserve religious, economic, and political liberty that the Americans rallied in the ′s. Equality of opportunity must be viewed in.