Feb 26 2012

Response #2

Published by

Michelle Heckel

Prof. Alvarez

English 255

25 February 2012

 “Deceit has become a God in America”: Corruption takes it’s Toll in Jose Davila Semprit’s “The United States” and “One of Many”

            In Jose Davila Semprit’s “The United States” he explains the ideals of what America should be perceived as through the eyes of other people. He describes the United States as a corrupt and imperialistic country. The country stands as a deceitful America in the eyes of these immigrants and how America sets the example of preaching one thing and then going against those words practicing something different. Jose Davila Semprit goes on to state how the United States became a corrupt nation and how the people of the United States have changed their way of life due to this taking place. Jose Davila Semprit states:

The sublime document that proclaims the rights of man, a star-spangled banner, history that begins with roaring rebelliousness and ends up smelling of imperialism, a heterogeneous people, the remains of our old Europe turned into a Republic; an alloy of passions, prejudices, and entrenched arrogance, deceit has become a God in America, the belly laugh of the century, the sarcasm of this era: The United States! (Semprit 516)

This quote states how the United States comes up with creating the constitution where all these rights were given to all people. He states how the nation rose up from a rebellion and how the United States, now viewed as an imperialistic country, takes authority over these other nations through the act of forming such rights, eventually taking them away from man. The United States sets people to act one way and then tries to apply our way of living on other nations or countries, which doesn’t always work for others. He speaks of how America became deceitful, and immigrants came to America to escape prejudice and arrogant acts as well and tried to turn our America into a Republic. In the end, coming to America didn’t appear any better because the US became just as corrupt and showed prejudice towards many of these people. When the author states, “the belly laugh of the century, the sarcasm of this era” the author expresses how people laugh at the American ways of life and how this way of life appears no better then other nations since America became just as corrupt as these other nations. The speaker tries to convey the idea that America, once viewed as a country that respected equality has turned against him, leaving him to view the United States as corrupt.

In Jose Davila Semprit’s “One of Many” the speaker relates to the prejudices that the United States had against him. The speaker talks about how he faced hardships of assimilating to the new culture of the United States and how the United States influenced the life of one man, whereas; in “The United States” it spoke about the prejudices against the whole ideology of the country. Jose Davila Semprit goes on to state how this assimilation process affected this one individuals lifestyle forcing him to want to return to his homeland. Jose Davila Semprit states:

But one day…—life goes around and comes around in big cities—-he stumbled over life and its treacheries, felt deeply the injury of vices and prejudices of American malice.And cried out for his homeland in pure Spanish! (Semprit 518)

In this quote the author tries to convey the idea of how big cities suck the life out of people basically forcing such an immigrant to have no choice but to assimilate, becoming one of the many that live in the Unites States, missing their own homeland. These people eventually find how America is far different from what it seems. At one point in the poem the speaker forgot his language and this made the speaker want to leave the United States longing to go back to his homeland. The speaker describes the prejudices experienced stating, “he stumbled over life and its treacheries”, which we can interpret as him coming over to the United States and experiencing such hardships which made him want to leave and go back to his homeland where everything would return known to him. He also expresses his emotions of prejudice through the statement “felt deeply the injury of vices and prejudices of American malice”, which shows how the United States treated him with such evil acts that it made him want to return home to his country. Towards the end of the poem the last line states, “and cried out for his homeland in pure Spanish!” shows how he longed to go back home where he would return to a respected lifestyle because in the end, life in America became not as ideal as he once thought.

  Work Cited

Semprit Davila, Jose. “The United States.” Trans. Edna Acosta-Belen and  Susan

Liberis-Hill. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Eds. Ilan Stavans etal, New

York:WW Norton & Company, 2011. 516-517. Print.

Semprit Davila, Jose. “One of Many.” Trans. Bethania Stewart. The Norton

Anthology Of Latino Literature. Eds. Ilan Stavans etal, New York: WW Norton &

Company, 2011. 518. Print.






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One response so far

One Response to “Response #2”

  1.   salvarezon 02 Mar 2012 at 7:44 pm


    You do a pretty good job with your title, but there are a few things to fix. First, in MLA all the important words get capitalized, not just the first word (as in APA format). This doesn’t have to be the case if you use a quote like you do here, but for the second part if should, so you would change what you have from

    ”Deceit has become a God in America”: Corruption takes it’s Toll in Jose Davila Semprit’s “The United States” and “One of Many”


    ”Deceit has become a God in America”: Corruption Takes It’s Toll in Jose Davila Semprit’s “The United States” and “One of Many”

    You also use the wrong form of it’s/its. I suggest getting rid of it altogether, so to Corruption’s Tolls like:

    ”Deceit has become a God in America”: Corruption’s Tolls in Jose Davila Semprit’s “The United States” and “One of Many”

    You had the two-part structure down fine, and that’s the most important part. You can think of critical terms you use in your E sections to fill in some of those “key words” you could use in your title.

    The PIE paragraphs look great. I especially like the strong E sections. You give some forceful readings of the texts, especially in the second PIE paragraph.

    Have you studied any Marxist literary criticism? Some of the vocabulary in that line of theory or words from “Globalization” studies would also come in handy to give some further depth to your interpretations, or authority to your academic prose.

    The idea of the torn homeland dream in the USA and the American dream in the emigrated country becomes some kind of psychological feature of desire I think, about always wanting what something someone can’t have. Of course economics and imperialism also play a huge factor in this as well.

    For your MLA and misc.
    –include the original year of publication before the Trans.
    — fix et al. It has a period, and there should be a comma before it.
    –Missing the periods in W.W. Norton
    –Also note how with more than work from the same author you don’t use the author’s name twice, but three dashes —. so it would be:

    Semprit Davila, Jose. “The United States.” . . .
    —. “One of Many.” . . .

    –I counted only 2 “to be” verbs. I noticed your prose read much clearer, I hope you noticed the same. Using the right verbs clears up the passive voice and makes your writing more descriptive.

    4.5 out of 5 possible points

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