The melting pot is a theory in which came about in the Revolutionary period by Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur. His theory envisioned that America was a “melting pot”, where individuals of all nations are melted together to become a new race of men. The term melting pot refers to the idea that societies formed by immigrants of different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups, will produce new hybrid social and cultural forms. The notion comes from the pot in which metals are melted at great heat, melding together into new compounds.
How can this melting pot theory be true if there is still racism and “cliques” in the world today? A more accurate comparison would be America as a great bowl of salad, where each of the many ingredients are tossed together while each retains its own identity, as compared to the melting pot theory where everyone is put together and lose their discrete identities. The immigrants brought, and still are bringing today, different cultures, where each of these cultures has kept their identity to make up America as a whole.
Every distinctive culture or belief is considered to be one of the ingredients that contribute in forming the whole; therefore its original shape and characteristics are maintained. First, the melting pot theory is almost hypocritical to America, as it goes against what it is said to be, which is the “land of the free and home of the brave”. If everyone who came to the United States was expected to “melt” in with the rest, then how is this free and brave? America is a dream, and the salad bowl goes with the immigrant’s original dream, to come to America and be free, practice their own religion and have their own identity.
These people who came to America were sick of being told what to believe or what to do, and they wanted to come here to be seen as their own persons, not billions mixed together as one. Not only does the melting pot theory go against perception of what America is supposed to be, it goes against the human race. Humans are supposed to be unique, and have their own identities. Being different is what makes us human. If melting together means we lose our identities, than we lose our humanity, also. Next, as I look around my high school, I can see that this melting pot theory is not valid.
Even as we go to the same school, walking in the same halls and sit in the same classes, we still have our own cliques. We interact with each other but we don’t come together, per say. We’re all still are own people. We are not all melted together, not everyone is friends. We’re in the same salad bowl, but we have our own identities. I don’t think there will ever come a time that students in high schools will all melt together, yet alone all of America. Lastly, if you also take a look at New York City, it is apparent that it is more of a salad bowl.
There are distinct sections that are made of different ethnicities. There is Chinatown in Manhattan, which is where a whole population of Chinese people are located, with a surplus of Chinese restaurants, etc. Then there is Astoria in Queens, which is a Greek neighbourhood. There is also Borough Park in Brooklyn, where there is a population of Chassidic Jews living. As you can see, these sections of immigrants are keeping to their ethnics as they would have in their country, which makes it apparent they are not “melted” together or there would not be all of these different sections in one city.
In conclusion, instead of the melting pot theory that Crevecoeur had brought about, I believe that America is more of a salad bowl, where we are all mixed together but yet we keep our own identities separate. America is suppose to be a place where people can come from all over the world to be free and be their own person, not to mix together in one big pot. We are a mixture of all different flavours and ingredients, which make up the wonderful salad that it is today.