The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What extravagant expectations does Boorstin assert consumes the American psyche?

Boorstin posits that there are two main "extravagant expectations" that Americans hold. The first expectation is that there is always more that the world can provide. The second expectation is that we have unlimited power to fashion the world to our desires.

2. What is the effect of the extravagant expectations held by Americans, according to Boorstin?

Boorstin asserts that these expectations lead to the creation of illusions and thus pseudo-events to maintain and strengthen those illusions. He states that our issues with foreign countries have to do with their unwillingness to believe our illusions and that the greatest domestic changes will arise from dismantling the illusions.

3. What does Boorstin write of the news industry in Chapter 1 - Section I?

In Chapter 1 - Section I, Boorstin describes how the telling of news has changed from reporting what was seen to actively creating what is seen to "make up for the lack of spontaneous events." He introduces the term pseudo-event and describes it as a false event that is intentionally created.

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