The American Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The American.
This section contains 1,174 words
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Cultural Differences

The cultural differences between the Americans and the French are one of the most visible themes throughout this novel. Newman was born and raised in America. He is accustomed to a culture where one is allowed to prove one's worth by the work he or she chooses to do. For instance, Newman started out with nothing, but has made a fortune in selling leather and washtubs. In the French culture, worth is simply a matter of one's lineage and last name. Those belonging to a particular family are seen as being more worthy than those who belong to a different family. In this shallow system of determining one's worth, the most worthy ones, such as Newman, are often pushed aside for those less honorable simply because of their name.

Another aspect of French culture that deeply bothers Newman is the unspoken rule that children, even adult children...

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This section contains 1,174 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The American Study Guide
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