Monday, May 05, 2014

"America the Shrunken" ALL Classes Due 5/9

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/opinion/sunday/bruni-america-the-shrunken.html?src=me&ref=general

How does Bruni use content, tone, stylistic devices and/ or rhetorical devices to convey his attitudes about America and the current state of the American Dream? Provide strong and thorough textual evidence to support your answer.

95 comments:

  1. Frank Bruni talks about how the US is slowly declining in economic superiority on the international stage as well as at home. We have never been top of the world for smartest students or smartest adults; however, we have been some of the hardest workers in the world. We built a world power in 300 years while others have had 1000's of years like China. We have finally plateau'd though. Our standard of living doesn't make us want to strive for more. Aside from an already cushy lifestyle, the wealth gap between normal people and the rich is steadily growing and the attainment of said wealth is near impossible in our world today. There are those born rich and the very, very few who become rich on their won. Not good odds, huh? The American dream is slowly dying and we, as a generation, need to revitalize it. The top goals to spur our nation forward: Government reform and EDUCATION. We need educated people and people to be education else we'll be a poor nation without even the opportunity of education. EDUCATION!

    Jared C.
    Period: 2

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  2. What this article is basically saying is to prepare for the future, because it will only get worse. Mr. Frank Bruni believes that we have plateaued in terms of our lifestyle and standard of living, and we aren't trying to create a better future for our children. Our major problems are only getting worse, like the wealth gap and our education system, and the author believes the best way to help our children is to save up money for them now, as it will be very hard to earn it themselves in the future. Americans in general are bad at dealing with problems until they are staring them in the face (climate change for example), and the author is implying that that will be our downfall. There will come a time when we make major changes to help secure the future of our great nation, so hopefully we choose to do it sooner and prevent disaster, rather than later.
    Evan Seward
    P2

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  3. Throughout the article, Frank Bruni uses a pessimistic tone that sometimes had underlying hints of optimism in order to convey his message. He would talk about all of the pitfalls of the US and how we are slowly falling behind in rank, and then talk about how his friend felt saying, "while he didn’t envision a richer American economy in his future or a mightier American role in the world, he looked forward to a country with a warmer embrace of diversity, including gay marriage in every state." which shows that all of our problems might not be so important, because we are surpassing other countries in ways they never will. The constant doubt about US achievement and the use of multiple sources to prove hat good things are not happening help Bruni to convey his attitude about America. Bruni also states in the article that, "At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable" He says this and then repeats his opinion about our laziness and why our problems are happening over and over again to prove his point.

    Jordyn B.
    Period 2

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  4. In this article, Bruni talks about how the so called "American Dream" doesn't have the same optimism as it used to. Bruni predicts that other countries are surpassing us economically. "American schoolchildren aren’t anywhere near the head of the international pack, and American adults, according to one recent study, lack the technical skills that peers in many other developed countries have" And this is leading to an unsuccessful economy. Thus crushing our "American Dream" of becoming rich. Unfortunately this article didn't have a hopeful ending. But now it's time to live a hopeful live...without hope

    MaryColleen
    Period 2.

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  5. Frank Bruni talks about how the United States economy is waning and how China is slowly emerging as the world's strongest economy. According to reports from the World Bank, " from a branch of the World Bank, that the Chinese economy might overtake ours by the end of this year, finishing our century-plus reign as the world’s wealthiest nation. What a run we had! It was great while it lasted." We are starting to see that the United States has lost some of its luster and isn't as great as we are made out to be. Frank Bruni uses a personal anecdote throughout to express his individual view through his writing. Also through out he uses logos or logic to get his point across. With certain rhetoric devices, frank Bruni better explains and enhances his writing of this article.
    Ryan C.
    Period 2

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  6. Jake S
    Period 2
    Bruni uses rhetorical devices such as when he gives a personal anecdote to further enhance the readers experience. In the text it says, "NOT long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had. His response was instant and unequivocal. No." He uses this anecdote to show how he believes that America won't be as prosperous as years prior. His tone in some cases is pessimistic and angered about how nothing new is ever built, "We seldom build big things anymore. We just talk about building them and usually decide to take a pass or to wait, whether it’s a high-speed train in California or another tunnel between New Jersey and New York." This tone further helps me comprehend his views on American prosperity.

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  7. Frank Bruni writes this article from a very pessimistic point of view. He often presents facts and figures in a way that makes them seem worse than they are in order to scare readers. I detest this form of journalism because instead of reporting on the issues, he's making blanket statements on a variety of issues that scare readers and draw more readers in. He says things like, "American bridges crumble. American trains crawl. American flights leave from terminals that pale next to many Asian and European counterparts." that leads the reader to fear crossing bridges, or believe that our trains are sub par. While we do not have the high speed railways that some countries do, we do have efficient transit systems, and more importantly safe transit systems. I believe that Bruni uses fear as a tool to gain readers, and this tool is a horrible way to gain readers.

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  8. This article is trying to portray the fact that America is simply falling behind. Our growth is slowing down drastically and we are falling behind in the ranks. It's scary to think that what our country was once known for (The American Dream) isn't even reachable anymore. Through the use of logos, he helps portray the idea that America is falling behind and that Americans are starting to lose their faith in their homeland. The article states, "For the last six years, when the Gallup Poll asked them which country was the world’s “leading economic power,” more answered China than said the United States. This year, the spread was an astonishing 52 to 31 percent. Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there." He uses logic and statistics to get his point across. For me, this helped see the point he was trying to make. Overall, America should take more caution and start considering a future where America isn't a world power.
    Joe Roca
    Period 2

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  9. Mr. Bruni artfully conveys his attitude about America and the current state of the American Dream using content, tone, and some very cleverly incorporated stylistic/rhetoric devices. Mr, Bruni uses a tone that is both personal and informative. The interesting tone is used to simultaneously appeal to the readers emotions and logic. The author begins his article with an excellent example of an anedote. He introduces with a recollection of a conversation he engaged in with his friend. When asked if he believed that his children would have more opportunities than he himself had had, Mr. Bruni's friend's "...response was instant and unequivocal. No." This use of of anedote doubles as an example of Pathos. The mention of a real family appeals to the emotions of the reader and allows them to better connect with the content of the article. The author also incorporates a great deal of Logos in his writing. His content is very informative and includes a lot of factual evidence to support his claims. To illustrate the the deteriorating conditions of the US, the authors uses statistics from an international report "We’re 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation — access to water and sanitation! — and 16th over all, just two spots above Slovenia." The use of the report, strengthens his point and appeals to the logic of the reader. These are but a few of the vast number of literary devices that the author uses to enhance his writing. One could easily spend an entire day analyzing all of the details that go into to making this a great article.

    Iana W
    Period 2

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  10. The author of this article first starts off with an anecdote. Frank Bruni begins talking about a conversation with one of his good friends. Bruni asked his friend, “If he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had?” He replied no and hopes to leave them with a lot of money. Bruni uses this story to show how many people doubt that the future for America is heading in the right direction. In the article Sosnik wrote, “At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable.” The author states many points about how America is falling behind. From example, schoolchildren in America are lacking skills that other developing countries have. In 132 countries we rank 39 for basic education. Also, in the article it mentions how many people believe that China has the leading economic power. I feel that this article is very doubtful and negative.
    Holly p
    period 2

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  11. Frank Brunis main idea is that American is slowly falling behind. He talks about how the "American Dream" isn't as promising and optimistic as it used to be.“At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable." He says how there is more social mobility in Europe than in the US, and how the US lacks in technical skills, education and other key aspects to a society. Bruni starts off with an anecdote to portray a past conversation he had with a good friend of his and they talked about how there kids were going to live in a prosperous america and the guy simply said “I’m hoping to leave them a lot of money.” I don't think that's the right attitude considering our economy isn't the greatest and things involved with money can change at the snap of a finger. What this article entails is that American is falling behind other countries in so many different aspects and the so called " American Dream" is just another thought and not a life goal to fulfill it.
    Dalton E
    Period 3

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  12. Bruni starts the article with an anecdote, a short intro about how he asked the smartest guy he knows what the future will hold for their children. He then uses logos to put in facts and information on how our economy is not as great as it once was and that China may take the title of the strongest economy. We are loosing our edge. He describes the state of the country by saying, "American bridges crumble. American trains crawl. American flights leave from terminals that pale next to many Asian and European counterparts." We are not the greatest country in the world anymore. We are being out competed in almost every area and there is no coming back. He concludes the article with a metaphor saying that in the end, "we’re no better served by settling into the dusk."
    Class 3
    Alec Janis

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  13. After reading this article i feel that america needs to go back to its old ways. Our generation and our children are going to be living in a world where it is hard to survive and the "American Dream" is hard to achieve. The tone of this article is informational. I also feel that he included his own life to give it a more realistic style. People used to come to America to prosper but now American people are struggling to put food on their table and provide for their children. I dont want to grow up in a country where i am struggling to survive and i wouldnt want this for my children either." More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it, and by “it” I mean the optimism that was always the lifeblood of this luminous experiment, the ambition that has been its foundation, the swagger that made us so envied and emulated and reviled." I feel that this quote is saying that people are losing their drive to succeed because of the hardships they have to endure to get there.
    Michaela S
    period 3

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  14. The author begins the article with an anecdote, "NOT long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had." He uses many other literary devices to get his point across. His point being that, America is falling behind. The article has a very pessimistic tone to it. It seems as though the author does not have hope for the future of the country. Rather, he seems to only criticize modern day America. "Canada had overtaken us." I personally saw this as a form of pathos because the day that Canada is better than us, i get mad. Canada, of all places, can NOT be better than the United States. Something needs to change.
    Jared P Period 3

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  15. Mr. Frank Bruni's article "America the Shrunken" is about how future generations will have it rough and how they, and their parents, will deal with it. He says how America will only go downhill from here as it will continue to aid other countries before aiding it's own residents, and even China will overtake the United States as the wealthiest nation. He asks his friend how he will deal with having his children living in this new world, and his friend replies that he will leave them a lot of money. This is an example of an anecdote used in the article, with a underlying tone of humour as the reader will think "Well, what else can he do?" The overall tone of the article is a pessimistic and downtrodden one, and the reader is left with a sense of hopelessness (as I was, being of the generation he was referring to). He also quotes reputable sources to underscore his point in the article, such as, "In a lengthy memo that he shared with Politico late last year, the Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik assessed what he called “a decade of anger and disaffection,” noting that for 10 years in a row, according to polling by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal..." He uses another anecdote referring to a national pole in the United States, which results are that, "Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there," 'on top' meaning the number 1 leading economic nation in the world.
    I agree with Mr. Frank Bruni and believe that we should redirect sending money and aid to other countries who solely rely on it towards ourselves instead.
    Megan Glynn Period 3

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  16. This article has a very pessimistic tone when he takes into consideration the future of the american economy. He seems to prevent all of his information in a way that is looking down on the american economy, and the path that is taking. He even goes as far as to say that the american people no longer think of america as the world's top nation."For the last six years, when the Gallup Poll asked them which country was the world’s “leading economic power,” more answered China than said the United States. This year, the spread was an astonishing 52 to 31 percent. Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there." He seems to be condescending in respect recovery too, as he seems to move away from a future recovery and goes to use moving down in the world, and how our economy will continue to see a downward trend. This article just had an underlying lone of doubt and really made me feel like he was encouraging people to lose hope in our country
    Mike B Per 3

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  17. This article is a perfect example of how to be persuasive, without being insulting. Bruni utilizes many techniques to do this, including -but not limited to- anecdotes, analogy, and repetition; he continually repeats his same base idea. The very first paragraph is essentially an anecdote. It reads, "Not long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had." Bruni then goes on to explain how this individual said no, continually following with the typical style of an anecdote (a brief narrative describing an interesting or amusing event).

    In addition to utilizing anecdotes, Bruni also uses metaphors. For example, he mentions that the "American Dream," is too "squirrel away nuts for a leaner tomorrow," meaning that we have to prepare now for the worst. Generally speaking, Bruni presents his standpoint using many facts and statistics, but he doesn't really go off topic (as that can sometimes happen). His writing flows from one section to the other, and he uses sentences that stick with you. For example, he writes, "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts," and this quote really makes me think. Bruni is a skilled writer, utilizing many techniques to improve his writing.

    Kathryn
    Period 3

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  18. The author, Frank Bruni, takes a very pessimistic approach to writing this article. He writes, "More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it, and by “it” I mean the optimism that was always the lifeblood of this luminous experiment, the ambition that has been its foundation, the swagger that made us so envied and emulated and reviled." In saying this, he has basically put his point of view that America has no hope for the future. He constantly criticizes the things that we as American's do. "We seldom build big things anymore. We just talk about building them and usually decide to take a pass or to wait". When an author writes an article in a pessimistic tone like this, it really pushes me away from trusting his opinion.

    Kevin C.
    Period 3

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  19. Frank Bruni uses many different devices in his article "America the Shrunken" in order to portray his opinion of pessimism and disapproval over the US. Bruni uses many different statistics and words from different authors to fully show his thoughts. He states that by the end of the year China will overcome our economy and our "reign" of being the wealthiest nation for a century will come to an end. Not only does he state facts but he includes a metaphor from the author Joel Kotkin in "The Daily Beast" saying, "Once a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivores, America could be turning more docile — a country of content, grazing herbivores". Through Bruni's metaphors he shows how much he is unsatisfied and disappointed in the US economy and its citizens.
    Gabby White
    Period 3

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  20. The author used an anecdote to draw us in and to keep interest. In the article it says, "NOT long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had." He starts off with this, and leaves the reader curious about what the article would be about, especially since the anecdote was sort of vague/broad. He also uses a lot of facts to support his claims, which add to the persuasiveness of his writing.
    Jennifer G
    Period 3

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  21. Bruni starts the article with an anecdote about talking to his friend about how he feels about the way America will be in the future. He also uses many metaphors and analogies to explain what the American peoples' futures will look like. He states, "Squirrel away nuts for a leaner tomorrow." The author also compares the country from being "fairy-tale lilt and candy-colored palette" to "infinite shades of gray." Irony is also used to show how the American people feel about the US's economic power, and "Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there." It is ironic that even though the US is still on top, not many see it that way.

    Emma S
    period 2

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  22. Bruni goes about writing this article in a very pessimistic way. He uses pathos ideals to touch the emotions of the readers since he supports the fact that America has reached its potential and can only really go down from our current state. He also uses ethos in his writing because he includes the opinions and feelings of the public on the same issue and the majority of them agree with Bruni's statements. Although he didn't use many of the comparison writing tools such as metaphor or analogies, but that is mostly influenced by the fact that they are unnecessary for him to get his point across. Instead Bruni results to discussing the United States grey future to attract the attention of the readers who are surprised like myself to hear the negative facts. Sosnik mentioned, "At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable.” Its depressing to realize that the majority of the general public feels that the country has reached its capacity of potential when an optimistic mind set is a simple solution to extend our countries positive climb.
    Alyssa Case
    Period 3

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  23. Bruni makes a great point in his article, America is falling behind compared to all the other nations. The next generation or even our generation aren’t progressing as much as we are suppose to. The students are specially are at disadvantage. The education in other countries are producing much more intelligent and smart adults than ever. US is slowly losing its spot in the world and that impacts us the most. This way there are less opportunities to prosper and flourish as a nation.“The “Heartland Monitor Poll”by the National Journal and Allstate last September showed that only 20 percent of Americans expected today’s children to have more opportunities to get ahead than their parents had, while 45 percent expected them to have fewer. That was the most downbeat finding since the poll first broached the question in 2009.” The opportunities are slipping through our hands. We need to step up and make the needed changes. We shouldn't need to be so utterly concerned about our future. We need to live in the present in order to be happy- Ted Talk.
    ~Shilpa R Period 3

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    Replies
    1. Bruni uses statistics and facts in the article - logos. He uses pathos and makes the article more concerning for the parents, specially in the beginning. He awares the Americans through ethos and how the community can be falling behind.
      ~Shilpa R

      Delete
  24. The author of the article has a sort of dismal tone about where our future is headed. He believes that America is no longer the all powerful and biggest nation in the world saying “For the first time in our country’s history, there is more social mobility in Europe than in the United States.” The author believes we are lagging behind in innovative new ideas, education, and architecture. One of the rhetorical devices he used is an anecdote when the author refers to his friends opinion. He asks his friend if "he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that he had." And he got the response no. This anecdote furthers his point.

    Eleanor Hall
    Period 3

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  25. Bruni talks about the declining popularity of the American dream in his article "American the Shrunken". That this disbelief of a former staple of American culture and ingenuity is causing us to lose our status as the leading economic power in the world. I would describe the tone of the article as negative because the article really leans toward the public's loss of faith in our country and its future. He definitely presents a bias towards this bold accusation, and doesn't really address the other side of the issue he presents. He tells us that,"We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." This negative view of the American public does not help the cause. By losing hope in our society and professing that things aren't going to get better and that we should just accept where we are, we aren't giving the people the hope that we desperately need to return to America.
    Justin Campos
    Period 3

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  26. The article discusses how the United States has not been advancing or making progress compared to the other nations of the world. I believe that one of the most important aspects that we, as Americans should invest more is on education. While more than 30% of our budget goes to the military, only 1% is spent on education. The article, "American The Shrunken,"states, "We’re 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation — access to water and sanitation! — and 16th over all." It is unbelievable to me that the US is 39th ranked in basic education, with the plentiful resources, research, textbooks, internet and technology that we have available to us. China is also becoming the leading economic power in the world.
    This article used metaphor when it stated that the US went from being a mighty lion to a lamb. It stated, "Once a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivores, America could be turning more docile — a country of content, grazing herbivores." I liked how the author of this article used metaphor to enhance and give depth to the article. Overall the United States is becoming weaker in education, sanitation, and the basic rights to access nutrition. There is a greater percentage of Americans who believe that we are on the "wrong track" than on the "right track." This drastic change in character of our country from being a mighty and patriotic to a nation of hopeless people may be the cause of our weakness. I wish the article left us with some hope and aspirations for our country. Although education is a basic right for us, I would like to see the US moving forward in basic rights like gay marriage in all of the states.
    Reitsuma
    Period 3

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  27. Bruni writes this article with the ethos technique. He plays up the pessimistic role and appeals to our community as a whole. He tells us that America is lacking and the American dream has now turned into saving money for future generations instead of them earning for themselves. We are falling behind on the international spectrum when it comes to education and technology maybe compared to our chinease counterparts. At the end of the article Bruni says,"But we’re no better served by settling into the dusk." This analogy is supposed to help the reader visualize something else while thinking about the topic of the fading american dream.
    Elena Muniz
    Period 3

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  28. Frank Bruni, the author of this article, uses many rhetorical devices to persuade the reader that America, has in deed, shrunken. He mostly uses repetition and anecdotes to really drill his opinion to the reader. he repeatedly states, "But our slide to No. 2 nonetheless seems inevitable, so much so that most Americans think it has already happened." Although he states in various ways, he repeatedly states how America is not the best country anymore. He also gives numerous stories of why he thinks America has shrunken. he starts out the article by saying"I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had.
    His response was instant and unequivocal. No." He is referencing his friend to get his point across. I think he used great devices to persuade readers.
    Claire Paterson
    Class 3

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  29. In this article, Frank Burt explains the american dream. Once described as "a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivores, America could be turning more docile — a country of content, grazing herbivores,” He explains how the american dream isn't improving and in fact, our ambition and aggression to be the leading nation in economy and education is declining. He uses several different techniques in his article, such as using short, personal stories to help us connect and relate. He also uses metaphors throughout the article such as the quote mentioned above and he says how our strive has taken a turned corner, a downward dive. I believe that we must work harder to make our society better. As Frank states in the article, we're slackers. If we want a better future, we have to change the way we are now.
    Amy B. period 8

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  30. Frank Bruni is the man. He conveys his ideas, mostly through the rhetoric of pathos, drawing on readers emotions. The article speaks of a darker tomorrow, and a not so bright present. But to really drive his point home, Bruni includes a tone of despair. quoting his friend, Bruni writes, " I asked a good friend of mine....if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had.

    His response was instant and unequivocal. No."
    Bruni made it clear that his friend was a credible source. Then he went on to show how he felt all was lost. Bruni knows how people react; when one person (an average person) feels hope is lost for the future, people move on. However the lasting effect is much more prominent when the source is credible and believes similarly.
    To stress his point Bruni strikes upon peoples fear of failure, upon their fear of change. While Bruni certainly includes many supporting facts, the literary gold is in his ability to appeal to readers emotions, using the rhetoric Pathos.
    Ben G
    Period 6

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  31. This article's tone starts right off the bat with sad, irritated, and hopeless tone. Through the use of multiple anecdotes, repetition, and emotional pleas being bostled with statistical evidence he gets his point across that America is falling off its thrown. "The Chinese economy might overtake ours by the end of this year, finishing our century-plus reign as the world’s wealthiest nation." He talks about how china is going to surpass us in every meaning of the word. From our children's test grades, to our adults' professional skills. "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." He continues to berate Americans for their abilities and the mood is so dreary and hopeless. The use of pathos to make us feel bad and logos to bring the logic in continues to show us that we need to make a change before we are overtaken and become irrelevant to the rest of the world.
    Sonny Giannini

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  32. Ahmad Zaidi
    Period 6
    In this article the author has a dreary tone because he is saying that how america might not be the best in the future. The author explained in the article that even though the American dream has worked in the past but it is not working anymore. he said in the article that “Once a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivores, America could be turning more docile — a country of content, grazing herbivores,” This shows how the american public is going away from the American dream because it is not working. The author said " The worst is yet to come, so insure yourself against it if you’re among the lucky few who can." The author admits how the future for thew next generations is gonna be worse than now.

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  33. In the article, Frank Bruni emphasizes how America is slowly declining on the economic scale and how the American Dream is fading. The tone of Bruni clearly is annoyed, fed up and desperate for a change of policy. In a lot of ways have the United States stop fighting for number 1 and just gave up. In a way America handed its defeat to other countries like China. As Bruni claims, "We're laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." Instead of striving for the American Dream, we just give up and sit around doing nothing. We are behind the international pack and we need to step it up. Just like Bruni said, he is clearly annoyed at the American's lack of effort for prosperity. Thus for a better future, we must step up to par and fight for the head of the pack.
    Miranda S. Period 6

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  34. Jackson Mariotti
    Period 6
    In this article, Frank Bruni uses stylistic writing to get his point across. He uses personal stories, bold statements, and emotion invoking ideas. He describes talking to a student, and the visions the student had. This is a good example of a personal story to support his ideas. Also, he makes bold and emotion provoking statements. When he says, "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts," it is discouraging. This perfectly conveys his ideas and thoughts on the American dream and America as a country. He thinks the dream is dead and that America is in decline. While I strongly disagree with him, his pessimistic tone makes one think a lot. I think he wrote his article well, just arguing the wrong side.

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  35. Frank Burt's article discusses how the American Dream is declining. More people now think of China as the rising world power instead of America, and many Americans lack the motivation to fix that. He shares stories that show how different aspects of our culture, such as infrastructure and politics, reflect this decline. "These three stories are threads in one tapestry, a faded panorama of American possibility." This metaphor depicts the scene vividly, showing that we may be okay at first, but as those pulled threads grow, we will fall apart. Frank Burt is appealing to our emotions (pathos) to try to help us see what has to be done. We have to be motivated and work hard to fix America's problems and continue to be a leading world power. Jessica L. Period 6

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  36. This article both interested and frustrated me. The author continued to state facts about how Americans are technically behind other countries like China. He talks about how American students are behind other countries in education. Even though the American education system is nowhere near perfect, it has much more creativity and freedom then schools in China where students are looked at as just a number. The author's tone did change when he said, "Which may not be so bad. Less assertiveness could mean less overreach. Less confidence could mean less hubris. And money isn’t everything." Personally I'm eager to see how my generation changes and develops the country. Being an international powerhouse and economically the most advanced country could perhaps not be the best thing for the culture and values of the country.
    Cassidy M. period 6

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  37. Bruni opens his article with a solid use of rhetoric to quickly get the basis of his main idea across: America is on the decline. A supposedly well-respected intellectual father is brought to our attention, and we are made to feel sad when we read that our generation won't "live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that [the previous generation] had." Immediately after, we are slapped with statistics and logic. Here we are compared economically to China. We then feel a disappointing and gloomy tone flow into the article when he says, "And it will probably last much longer than a few months." It adds a sad level of depth to the whole conflict.
    On the topic of the American dream, Bruni makes this dream seem like a lost cause by comparing us to certain aspects of other countries, such as their schools and infrastructure. To be honest, I think he's really making Americans seem worse off than we are, but he certainly did a good job of making me feel like America is... broken.
    Cameron O'Neill P.6

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  38. Michael Caminear Period 6
    The main point that Bruni emphasizes in the article is that the American Dream has changed. What was originally anyone's ability to go from rags to riches, is now a multitude of hasty actions to "squirrel away nuts for a leaner tomorrow." This simply means that people are no longer motivated to strive for success and are more worried about a financially secure future. Using a clever twist of interesting tones and logical references, Bruni is able to concisely express this point. His tone is something that resembles both annoyance and sadness. The article gives off a sort of melancholy feel because it addresses only the negative things about the US and its dream/economy. However, he uses personal anecdotes that show how his conclusions are logical and make sense. It may be hard to swallow, but America's "reign" as the world's dominant economic power may be coming to an abrupt end. Simply put, Bruni wrote this article effectively in the sense that he was able top persuade his readers that his ideas were truthful and well-informed.

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  39. I think this article really puts emphasis on the idea that the idea of the American Dream is sort of losing hope and our citizens are losing confidence and we can't really figure out how to fix it. Bruni seems to talk with a defeated tone and almost pessimistic. In the article Bruni writes, "Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there." This seems to me like our loss of confidence and hope for fulfillment of the american dream will continue to affect the United States negatively to the point where we aren't the leading world power anymore. The negative attitude and loss of confidence will lead to the downfall of America as a leading power. We need to restore confidence in our economy and country overall to look toward the American Dream again.
    Jessica M. Period 6

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  40. In this article Bruni claims that America was once, "a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivores, America could be turning more docile — a country of content, grazing herbivores,” He claims that America is falling behind the rest of the world and the American dream that drove so many to be better and improve themselves is dying out. This is somewhat accurate since many countries are catching up to us in their economies and standards of living. However, many of these countries have become sources of industry where most factories and manufacturing occur while these jobs have for the most part been outsourced from America. We have entered the information era where more jobs are based on technology and services so it is hard to compare our society to the more industrial societies of China and India. While the future may look dull right now, we can't really know what the future holds.
    Hannah Beatty pd.6

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  41. TIme flies by, and as we know, America hasnt always been a superpower. Now it might be time for a decline, to make space for other countries' as well. The thing is that America has been on the top of the world for a long time. The growth is slowing down, and "the American dream" isnt what it used to be. Even America believes so, with a whopping 31 percent saying America isnt the biggest. The everlasting hope for money, being famous and fulfilling what is the "dream". Bruni states "More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it", and I can agree to it, cause we see how rapidly other countries are developing, but what so ever if they America is number 2? Norway is probably number 100 or something, and we dont care.
    Christian F
    period 6

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  42. This article is mostly about how the author believes that America is falling behind or "shrinking" in the article he says "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." He believes that America is falling behind with new ideas and that it's possible in the future to not be one of the big power countries. Americans don't even have faith in the country anymore, no body knew that we still the leading economic power, but who knows maybe it wont be like that for soon
    Aodhan Dunn
    period 6

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  43. This article talks about how the American dream is declining. Facts were stated about how Americans are behind other countries like China. He talks about how American students are behind other countries in education. Even though the American education system needs improvement it gives students more creativity and freedom.Compared to schools in China where students are looked at as just a number. The article said, “At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable." Meaning the American dream is changing from what is was before. Our education system is changing. It's interesting to see how future generations improves and develops the country.
    Rachel period 6

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  44. The article talks about how the American dream is declining or how it is "shrinking". In the article it mentions that Americans are behind other countries like China and other countries who are getting advanced. For example he talks about how America is behind other countries in education. China is the one who is ahead of us in education. In the article, he says, "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." He thinks that America is falling behind and that we are slacking and not putting in enough efforts. We basically just have no motivation. Americans basically don't have faith in their country anymore. Even though we are ahead from many other countries, we wont be like that soon because our country is doing horrible.
    Karisma Patel
    Period 7

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    1. Also, everything that we have will soon be gone because Americans don't value anything. Sooner or later other countries will be better and powerful than us.
      Karisma

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  45. What Frank Bruni is basically saying about how the US is slowly declining in economic superiority on the international stage as well as at home. Bruni also says that our era as the wealthiest nation in the world might soon come to an end because of China's growing economy. We have never been top of the world for smartest students or smartest adults; however, we have been some of the hardest workers in the world. We built a world power in 300 years while others have had 1000's of years like China and many other nations. We have finally plateau'd though. Our standard of living doesn't make us want to strive for more. Aside from an already cushy lifestyle, the wealth gap between normal people and the rich is steadily growing and the attainment of said wealth is near impossible in our world today. There are those born rich and the very, very few who become rich on their won. Not good odds, huh? The American dream is slowly dying and we, as a generation, need to revitalize it. The top goals to spur our nation forward: Government reform, EDUCATION and also the Economy . We need educated people and people to be as educated as everyone else. If we do not do this then we will be considered a poor nation without even the opportunity of education and also the Economy might crash and we may head back to the 2008 Recession or even worse the 1929-1937 Depression.

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  46. Jonathan B
    P7

    I found this article very interesting about "the American Dream." In the article there are many points of the "American Dream" shrinking. “At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable,” Sosnik wrote. “For the first time in our country’s history, there is more social mobility in Europe than in the United States.” I found this quote interesting because it is describing that Americans are saying that their going to build things and help ourselves, but the thing is that we say all of this and we do not do anything to actually build something. I feel that this article is saying that Americans are all talk and no action. I agree with some parts of this article some of other countries students have a higher IQ than the students in America. "American schoolchildren aren’t anywhere near the head of the international pack, and American adults, according to one recent study, lack the technical skills that peers in many other developed countries have." This quote co-insides with my statement. People have to start taking actions to help the "American Dream" alive, and with some of the statements in this article make me believe that the "American Dream" is going to wither away if people do not start taking actions to prevent it.

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  47. George H. P.7
    Frank Bruni conveys to us about how the America is slowly declining in economic superiority on the international scale as well as at home at our doorstep, as well as racial intolerance. We have never at the top of the world for most intelligent students or wisest adults; however, we have been some of the most diligent workers in the world. As a nation we built a world power in a few hundred years while others nations like China had hundreds of years before our development as a nation to become a world power. Americans way of life now a days makes most question whether there is anything to strive for anymore. The American dream is slowly withering away and yet we, as a generation, need to fix this before there is nothing to dream for because if we don't dream we don't achieve. Our first goal of revision should be to redirect our sources of money into more important things rather then buying frivolous toys. We need to pay for better methods of education and better supplies for the schools. We can also gravitate our money into methods of support for those in need of an education but, cannot afford it. We also need to work on a better way of opening up to other culture beliefs. By doing this we can better enlighten ourselves to the worlds embrace. We may also learn new things as well. "A thoughtful college junior I know told me that while he didn’t envision a richer American economy in his future or a mightier American role in the world, he looked forward to a country with a warmer embrace of diversity. He itched to be a part of its creation." According to Frank Bruni author of "America the Shrunken" an article in the Ames Tribute. There are many other problems besides racial and economical but, for now these are our best starts to work on fixing. I hope one day the world will grow to be a far better place.

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  48. eddie turlis
    p7
    this article shows how america isnt as good as it used to be because of are failing economy and are attitudes toward the problems at hand. what im trying to say is that half the problem is mental because more than a 3rd of Americans already believe that china's economy has already overtaken our own.

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  49. Stephanie Durso Period: 7
    I think many people who have read this article would say that it was using rhetoric devices. For this specific article I feel it was using ethos. The author was venting his uncertainty of America. The uncertainty of tomorrow, and the opportunities for the next generations. The article seemed to blame Americans for having no hope in the future. We only think negatively because we are surrounded by negativity. Making the assumptions that American isn't that great because we are lazy and not prepared for the world we live in. ” We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts. American schoolchildren aren't anywhere near the head of the international pack, and American adults, according to one recent study, lack the technical skills that peers in many other developed countries have. “How could you say that just because we don’t exceed other countries in everything that we are not the same country? Believing in our country has nothing to do with this competition between the countries. We believe what we experience and see. If we want a better America we must make progress. Instead of worry about the other countries let’s focus on our progress and success.

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  50. What i read in the ''American dream" it showed me that how can we have a American dream if we alienate people and dont have any values. If we alienate people how is America suppose to be one if we segregate people from being an American. Also we use to be looked at as ""a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivore'' but now we are slowing down or "shrinking" as exclaimed in the article and we arent doing as good anymore and holding up our reputation as the American dream. In addition, some people as what is the american dream? the american dream is the idea that you can come here with nothing and work your way up to be very successful but unfortunately thats a lie. Its a lie because in order to be successful in america you need money and if you dont have money you cant make that "American dream" a reality.

    Richard Jason Pietruszka
    Period 7
    p.s swaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag

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  51. This article is a good example of how the American dream is slowly but surely declining each and every day. In the text it said "We seldom build big things anymore. We just talk about building them and usually decide to take a pass or to wait, whether it’s a high-speed train in California or another tunnel between New Jersey and New York. We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." We are becoming more and more reliant on what we say and plan to do rather than what we are actually going to do to make our country a better place for us. If we actually did what we wanted to do in order to help ourselves, I believe our economy would improve as well as the country as a whole.
    Marissa G.
    Period: 8

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  52. In this article Frank Bruni is trying to convey the idea that America is declining. Our children will not have the same opportunities that we can have today. One way Bruni tries to get this point across is through metaphors. He says, "Squirrel away nuts for a leaner tomorrow. The worst is yet to come, so insure yourself against it if you’re among the lucky few who can." Be prepared for America to no longer be the world's wealthiest country, and for the American dream to change even more.
    Julia Kendzierski
    period 8

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  53. This article is mainly on the fact that america is having problems or issues in america to this day that needs to be fixed. I quote from the article This year, the spread was an astonishing 52 to 31 percent. Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there. This is an example to show u that america isn't doing that good in like economy wise we use to do better but now a days its not that good everybody doesn't have all that money like that. Now a days things are so expensive it doesn't make any sense its just so expensive in the south things are way cheaper then up north. Even done to education wise it talks about how us children are so behind and how other countries and stuff are ahead of us and are smarter then us they talk about the adults that did not even attend school or go to college so how they are so behind. They cant even get a good paying job because they never went to college or to school period so they are taking all the jobs that teens can be able to work at so they can still survive and live as well. I also quote "American schoolchildren aren't anywhere near the head of the international pack, and American adults, according to one recent study, lack the technical skills that peers in many other developed countries have." but i know that they always talk about how china is ahead of us in schooling and stuff and how they are so much smarter then us. They also were talking about having us go to school 7 days a week instead of 5 days a week but i don't think that will ever happen but i know they were talking about that at one point.
    Destanee Gray Period 8

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  54. Frank Bruni's article mainly discussed how the U.S. is slowly declining and the American dream is going with it. He then talked about how many people believe that the Chinese economy may take overtake ours by then end of the year. When he said this, he used the idea of logos because it seems like a logical statement since China's economy is growing so rapidly. In the article he says, "More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it, and by “it” I mean the optimism that was always the lifeblood of this luminous experiment, the ambition that has been its foundation, the swagger that made us so envied and emulated and reviled." This quote shows his idea that he believes the American Dream is waning and I would have to agree. In my eyes once China's economy bumps down to number two the American Dream will go out the window and everyone will want to be in the business to bump China back down. Overall, if China's economy reaches number one, and the American dream is lost there would be less room for ambition and less room for opportunity in the U.S.
    Owen Karsmarski
    Per 8

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  55. This article is actually somewhat frightening because it gave me a whole new perspective on our country and its future. In the beginning of the 20th century our country was looked at as the place to go to because it was the land of opportunity. There was this popular idea of "The American Dream" which was to start a family, get a job, and make money while having a great life along the way. Now it is much harder to get a job in America and to raise a family with the rising prices of gas, houses, food, etc. Less and less people move to the United States as time goes on because its harder to excel than it used to be. Although the author of this article made some very good points i do believe he was overly critical about our country and to this day i still believe our country is the best in the world. People don't understand that its simply impossible to be a flawless countries and there's always going to problems. This article said,"More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it, and by “it” I mean the optimism that was always the lifeblood of this luminous experiment, the ambition that has been its foundation, the swagger that made us so envied and emulated and reviled." I do not agree with this statement because our country still is full of ambition and just about everybody works their ass off to make money and excel in our world. Im not sure i know anybody who doesnt want to be rich and famous and these dreams are things that keep our ambition and American Dream alive.
    Jack Murray Period 8

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  56. People need to understand that a country cannot be flawless. This man is far to critical towards America, in fact, it is people like him, the pessimists, that can bring down a country's integrity. Instead of focusing on personal value and worth, he depresses about the country as a whole saying, "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts" which is completely untrue. We are composed of engineers, doctors, the best colleges in the world, and then some. To say that we are "turning downhill" is completely opinionated. Sure some of the statistics prove it and maybe China is an up and coming economy but its about time. They are practically in their industrial era and they have far more people so it isn't surprising they are finally surpassing us in the world ranking. And I can assure you that per-capita the American people live a better life. "American students aren't ahead of the pack" well we are extremely close and with 100+ countries in the world I am personally un-ashamed to be called number 3 or 4, or whatever it may be. America is a beautiful country and will always be the best country in the world.
    Alec Carlson period 8

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  57. This article basically says how we should go back to the way America used to be. The U.S. may think that its progressing over time but its actually getting worse and worse. Instead of progressing we are regressing. The American Dream is being interpreted in a different way than it used to be interpreted. Not only a different way but the wrong way. People don't have the same mindset as they did back a couple decades ago. The children from the upcoming generations what the American Dream was like. The whole country is slowly decreasing and should follow that of other countries.
    Nick T
    Per 8

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  58. The person in the article Bruni starts off in the article talking to his friend about how he feels about the way things are going in the united states. He also is mentioning how he thinks things are going to go in the future for america. he uses alot of analogies and metaphors to explain how he thinks the people want the future of america to look like. "fewer than one i three americans put us on top, even though we actually remain there." Its funny because even though we are actually on top.
    quinn u
    per.8

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  59. Harjot Benipal
    Period 8

    In the article Frank Bruni explains how he thinks that the "American Dream" is shrinking and worsening. In the text he states, "We’re laggards, slackers, and everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts." He believes that America is falling behind and is going to be unable to keep up with other countries in the future. Some examples he uses includes how many American students lack knowledge and skills in comparison to international students and how Americans are no longer motivated. Therefore, Frank Bruni believes that the "American Dream" changing for the worse.

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  60. I think he uses it to convey the idea and make it more personal. He talks about how children wont have the opportunities they do because they grew up in a time where America was the more rich country in the world, and had more opportunities to do special things. He tried to use hypothetical situations to explain and used rhetoric devises to make the situation more personal so that it hits the audience harder. Also mentioning the American dream as well, saying that people cant achieve that american dream if this is happening and that will hit people who's plan it is to live that american dream pretty hard.
    Chris Dormer
    Period 8

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  61. After reading this article, i realized how America isn't going to be so powerful soon. And how China is catching up to us, because before they were really far behind us. but the author puts it in a lame and depressing tone, by doing this though he opens my eyes to what America is like now. He says how the American Dream is getting sadder and sadder and becoming worse and worse.

    Alla Miller
    Period 2

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  62. Frank Bruni did use rhetorical devices such as an anecdote form his personal experience. In the beginning of the article it says, "NOT long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had." This quote shows that he is curious about what other peoples opinions. This man he asked did not believe that his children will live in a more prosperous America or the same and he had. This sort of puts a more pessimistic tone on the article because he doesn't think it is possible and that his children won't live a life in a successful place as he did.
    Chaylea Finn p. 2

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  63. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  64. Bruni’s tone in this article seems worried, and through the shocking statistics, I believe our country should also be. Although pessimistic, Bruni’s article has a clear purpose: Something needs to change. Each day we are slowly slipping off the list of top countries, while our public institutions fail the adults of tomorrow helping the American dream become increasingly more unattainable. “My Times colleague Nicholas Kristof wrote about America’s rank on a new “social progress index” that includes 132 countries. We’re 39th in basic education, 34th in access to water and sanitation — access to water and sanitation! — and 16th over all, just two spots above Slovenia.” The facts are clear where the US stands in the world. We used to have an affluent middle class, large job opportunity, and the ability and ambition to become successful. Now we have a widening income gap, high unemployment rate, and little opportunity and ambition to accomplish aspirations. “We seldom build big things anymore. We just talk about building them and usually decide to take a pass or to wait, whether it’s a high-speed train in California or another tunnel between New Jersey and New York. And while each of these demurrals has a reason, the sum of them has an inescapably defeatist bent. We’re tentative. Timid.” Now is the time to reverse what many believe to be an inevitable fall from power. Making immediate changes to ensure the progress of society is necessary. It is not enough to wait for change. America must aspire to become great again or we have truly lost the American Dream.

    Caitie Perricone
    Period 6

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    1. I also noticed how the author was able to draw people into his article by starting by an anecdote. "NOT long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had." This introduction is both shocking and interesting, setting the tone for the article. He is able to support his claim, from the anecdote, by using facts. "The “Heartland Monitor Poll” by the National Journal and Allstate last September showed that only 20 percent of Americans expected today’s children to have more opportunities to get ahead than their parents had, while 45 percent expected them to have fewer." If Bruni did not alternate from statistics to anecdotes the information in the article, although supported, word be uninteresting to read.

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  65. The author of this article writes it in such a tone that it comes across as very negative and pessimistic. He writes about the future for the United States as far as its economic stability and how we have been on a downward spiral economically that is leading us to inevitably be taken from our spot as the number one world economic power. According to NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, "The percentage of Americans who believed that the United States was on the wrong track exceeded the percentage who thought it was on the right track." This is a very shocking statement which sparks negativity within the article. It shows how even the American people do not believe in a positive future for our country.

    Period 8

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  66. It's clear that, despite criticizing pessimism in his essay, Frank Bruni himself views America's future in a very pessimistic manner. However, regardless of the diverting irony, he probes the reader to respond both practically and emotionally through his heavy use of metaphor, ie: "If we become convinced that the pie won’t grow, do our politics degenerate into endless squabbling over the slices?" or “'I think to pretend that ‘It’s morning in America’ is a misreading of the times.' Perhaps. But we’re no better served by settling into the dusk.'" It seems that he tries to convey as much as he can of the abstract details of his argument through wit, while supporting them with factual evidence, such as the percentages he gives us, and then he gives us an emotional connection letting us know that he isn't /only/ a critical observer of America's economy and the societal behaviors, but that he also /cares/ about the country. "Still, I worry." And ends it with the /slightest/ hint of patriotic flavor. It's a well written article, and he displays a great understanding of how to capture and hold not only the attention of his readers, but the briefest glance of their hearts, just enough for him to stab a small, fine needle into it.

    Which isn't to say, of course, that we shouldn't worry about our country. I think he'd probably be right to invoke that kind of reaction, having read his article.

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    1. I am also from Period 6, I forgot to add that.

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  67. I think that the tone of this article changes throughout, which to me means that the author has a wavering opinion on the matter of the state of the American dream. At the start he puts forth a hopeless sort of feeling, saying that "our slide to No. 2 nonetheless seems inevitable", and how he gets "the sense that we've lost 'it'", it being optimism. All of these things just seem to say that he is losing hope that the American dream is still the same ambitious thing, and doubt that it will ever change. But then he seems to change to a more annoyed tone like he's frustrated with the state of things. Like when he addressed the majority opinion of Americans is now that the country is on the wrong track he says "That’s a change in the very character of the country", and soon after that the author says "We’re laggards, slackers" in regards to Americans, then rants that "American bridges crumble. American trains crawl". To me all of these statements are reminiscent of a disappointed parent who's frustrated with their child, scolding them but knowing that they're not going to change anything. But then he tries to look at the upside of things it seems, like he has a stance that is trying to be hopeful when he says that "Less assertiveness could mean less overreach. Less confidence could mean less hubris. And money isn't everything." Which is obviously trying to be more positive. But lastly he ends on a more worried note, asking "Can a nation so long defined by its faith in an expansive frontier accept limits so easily?", which is again obviously voicing concerns. So overall I think the article expresses the different facets of the views that the author has.
    Leah B Period 6

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  68. The author creates a negative tone throughout the article, however I don't believe he has a negative viewpoint on what we can do to change; just that he is fully aware that as a nation we aren't working to change our laziness and lack of motivation to stay on top. He almost makes it seem as if we are content with our reputation as once being the best, and the people of the future will have just that to thrive off of because we are no longer striving to maintain success. He doesn't really mention any ways to specially change what is happening, he just cites many examples such as trains, our economy, or our motivation that are lacking. I think he believes we can change, and I know he thinks we need to change, otherwise our generation will be living in the shadow of now and years past. I agree that we have lost our spunk and our need for success and we have become complacent and sluggish. We need to get back on our feet and continue to be a beneficial nation to the world.
    Cara Broughal
    period 3

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  69. The article by Frank Bruni is an interesting read although I cannot help but to wonder how much of it was influenced by his own past experience and misleading facts. My first inclination would be to say nearly all of it. He states in the article "...I read last week about a fresh projection, from a branch of the World Bank, that the Chinese economy might overtake ours by the end of this year, finishing our century-plus reign as the world’s wealthiest nation." I don't know about what the author thinks, but when I think of a county's wealth my mind immediately thinks of the GDP. And if we are going by that standard we don't even make the top 5 wealthiest countries list. In fact, according to http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-richest-countries-map.html we are number six and China isn't even on that list (although this may be because China may be intentionally devaluing their currency according to Mitt Romney).
    After looking through the article it seemed that most of the information presented was not backed up with accurate data. Sure, the author mentions that he talks to other people about these opinions but by saying that a person is "one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads" tells me nothing about how educate they are on this subject.
    That being said, if I take out all of the misinformation, I'm not entirely sure what this article is trying to tell me. I understand that they are concerned about China becoming wealthier then us but if China really is devaluing their money, they may already be wealthier then us. And if they are worried about education, we are tied in 19th place for the county with the highest IQ. I understand that our country may seem like it's going downhill from here but instead of trying to compare us to other counties, we should just be trying to fix the problems. This article was all about how my generation wasn't going to grow up with the same opportunities but I feel like people who can waste the time comparing us to other counties on that premises should be spending their time researching an actual issue and try to fix it.
    Shoshanna Longo
    Period 6

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  70. Caroline M.
    Period 2
    As I read this article I noticed the use of irony, analogy's, alliterations, and anecdotes. This article is expressing an opinion of Bruni that the American Dream is really no longer the American dream. We are falling behind in pretty much everything. China is beating us out economically wise and educational wise. Everyone is advancing while we are stopped dead in our tracks. "More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it, and by “it” I mean the optimism that was always the lifeblood of this luminous experiment, the ambition that has been its foundation, the swagger that made us so envied and emulated and reviled." I realize that we aren't perfect but we should still strive to be the number one country. It feels as if we are giving up but if one dream has failed the doesn't mean that we cant dream again. Keep dreaming. Lets create the New American Dream.

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  71. Right off the bat, Bruni uses the rthetroical device anecdote to enrich his point: ""NOT long ago I asked a good friend of mine — one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads — if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had." The man responded no and said his only hope for his children is to leave them a lot of money. This anecdote adds to the article because it draws the reader in. You want to know why this man believes America is becoming less and less prosperous. Also, if Bruni had immediately opened with facts and statistics, it would have alienated some readers, thinking the piece would be boring and a difficult read. This quote also appeals to both the public's pathos and ethos. One of the society's greatest hopes is protect and allow children to succeed. The fact that this is becoming more and more of a distatn memory is both emotional and tugs on the public's heartstrings and morales.
    Skylar S.
    Period 2

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  72. Frank Bruni offers a very pessimistic point of view of America's future in this article, pointing out that we are simply falling behind, and are not as lustrous as we were in the past. He points out that soon, possibly before the end of this year, China will take over as the leading economic power in the world. He also states that most American citizens already think that this has happened. He says, "For the last six years, when the Gallup Poll asked them which country was the world’s “leading economic power,” more answered China than said the United States. This year, the spread was an astonishing 52 to 31 percent. Fewer than one in three Americans puts us on top, even though we actually remain there." He used this quote to back up his statement, and accentuate what he was trying to get across, which was that America is falling behind, not only from an economic standpoint, but from a faith standpoint as well.
    Aidan Deane
    Per 6

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  73. Mr. Frank Bruni believes that we have plateaued with our standard of living, and we aren't trying to create a better society for generations to come. While I understand that there are many people in America who are complacent and satisfied with their place in life, I think it is a gross over generalization to say that all Americans do not dream of achieving more than they have prescribed to them at birth.
    The author used several rhetorical devices, like stories from a father(falling under the pathos category), and statistics to appeal to our logical side(logos). He claimed that America is falling behind, and because of the lack of optimism shown by American citizens, economic and social standards will follow suit. Even though this is a little depressing, my mother has said similar things to me, that she just doesn't see the economy getting that much better in my lifetime. I think that this could be an opportunity for Americans to rise to the occasion and surprise everyone. Whether that is realistic or not will be found out eventually.
    Emma P per.6

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  74. I can only find one side to this article. I can't find anything noting the recent growth and the fact that every enconomy goes through both up swings and down swings. We emerged from the Great depression with a stronger economy than ever seen before, and maybe that is what will happen again. The US has a vast expanse of land and resources, along with ties/interests in almost every country worldwide and a top notch higher education system. I highly doubt the outcome predicted in this article will come.
    A A RON

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  75. Conor Duffy
    Period:7
    I found this article very interesting about ‘The American Dream’. It shows that America is falling as an economy and failing to fix our problems. Some people believe that China’s economy is overtaking ours. "The Chinese economy might overtake ours by the end of this year, finishing our century-plus reign as the world’s wealthiest nation." The Author talks about how china is going to surpass us in every meaning of the word, saying that America isn’t going to be one of the world’s largest superpower. America basically handed its defeat to other countries and for example, China. We as a country have to be more motivated and work harder to fix America's problems and continue becoming a world leader.

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  76. Cassie Vaccaro
    Period: 7
    I came to believe that the article was very interesting, and it basically is about America is falling as an economy, and failing to fix the many problems that we have in America. In other terms, China's economy is basically taking over our economy. In the article it said that, "our slide to No. 2 nonetheless seems inevitable", and how he gets "the sense that we've lost 'it'" By saying 'it' i think it means that we have basically gone crazy. America is handed its defeat to other countries, and for example, like i said before, China is one of them. I think that we as a country, have to be more motivated and that America has to work harder to fix our problems, and we have to continue to become a world leader, it won't happen right away but eventually it could happen, and i think that America is more than capable of doing it, and fixing our economy that we have today!

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  77. The author of this article, Frank Bruni, says that the United States has reached it's economic climax. The People of the U.S. already have a living standard that Is beyond most in the world.This makes Americans less determined to achieve an even higher standard, and keep the United States the world power that it has become in just 300 years. I believe that If Americans don't find that determination, they will not be a world power in the next century, or even coming decades. I strongly believe it will take a large economic scare with times of poverty to make the U.S. people realize they have to work hard to keep a standard of living.

    Tyler Mahoney
    P7

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  78. The tone in Frank Bruni's article sounds very negative, however he has a good point on trying to change the world's lack of motivation, and laziness. i do agree with him on trying to change the world's lack of motivation because the world's population of obese people is More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent). see this is not good, this needs to change. However frank does not give us specific ideas on how to change the laziness and lack of motivation in the world. Besides the negativeness in his tone there is also the kind of tone that speaks out saying do it your self he didn't give us any ideas on how to change the laziness in the world.

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  79. Bruni compares the declining US economy to other countries and it does in fact raise some questions of how the Untied States is still on top. The comparison technique Bruni uses shows how displeased he is with America. It really sets the tone of the article, disappointing. The US has a declining economy, education is evaporating away, and we aren't up to speed with other countries. While China and Europe are increasing in economic wealth we are sitting here watching as we decline. It portrays the fact that we are falling behind. US has glamorized the fact we've been on top with being the worlds most wealthiest nation we've forgotten that we have to keep up and keep being better. Countries are catching up with us and this is very concerning. The article mentions, “At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable,” Sosnik wrote. “For the first time in our country’s history, there is more social mobility in Europe than in the United States.” Everyone around is is rapidly improving while we are waiting for something magical to happen. The title of the wealthiest nation is slipping through Americas fingers and into China's. Unlike before, there is competition, and it's going to be a rough battle. We're afraid our slogan has changed from "America the great" to "America the barely making it by"

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  80. To start, Bruni utilizes an anecdote, explaining how he recently asked a friend of his about his opinion on the future condition of America and how he thought things would pan out in comparison to the type of lifestyle both of the men were immersed in growing up. Through this anecdote he introduces his main point; he believes we as a nation have come to a halt in our desire and motivation to be productive, social, and prosperous. He uses numerous examples, comparing us to multiple rapidly developing European countries, and proposes many ideas and questions as to why we have suddenly become so, dull. I enjoy how he doesn't solely state his viewpoint, he tackles many of the debatable questions looking at the most popular or reasonable opinion out there and leaves room for the readers to create their own opinion because he informs us with various examples and information to feed from. It is true that everyone around us is developing in all aspects, and through this whirlwind of updating and reinventing, the one nation that stands as a prototype for prosperity and originality is slowing fading. We seem to be content with just the label of being the big shot, but we as a nation cant forget that these things aren't permanent and unless we continue to make our mark and be a positive contributor in relation to the rest of the world we will have let our reputation as a great nation slip right out of our hands.
    cara b
    period 3

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  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  82. OK so this article annoyed me not going to lie it kind of really pissed me off. It was this guy being sad about how america was going to be second but he started the article off with, "If he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had. His response was instant and unequivocal. No." If you take the question by its self and look at it. The first part asks will america be more prosperous then when he was a kid no probably not not to say america wont be prosperous it just wont be as prosperous. The second part asks will there kids have as many opportunists as they did when they were are age, and the correct answer is yes. but the dude answers no and i don't know where he came from but I'm going to guess he is at least in his 45's and so didn't grow up with a colored TV or IPhone or all the technology that we have now. So to say that his kids wont have as many opportunities is just laugh able they will have just as many maybe even more. They may have to work a bit harder but the amount of opportunities out there for any one person is outstanding and definitely not possible in his childhood.
    sam period 6

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  83. I do find Bruni's article to be biased in the sense that he isn't writing with the audacity of hope, but the audacity of despair.
    That said, his argument remains valid for the hopeless sentiment in this article is one shared by many Americans. An example of this can be found verbatim in a quotation of Sosnik, where he writes, “'At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American dream is no longer attainable,'"
    It's a strong statement to proclaim the American Dream dead; one you may disagree with depending on your definition of the American Dream.
    That's what it comes down to really, what do you consider the American Dream?
    Judging by the consistent flow of immigrants (legal or illegal) into the US, I'd say the American Dream is still very much alive.
    But it's not all about how hard you work.
    That's an easy answer to a great dilemma.
    There is a serious failure in the US education system and it costs the youth a great deal of opportunity.
    People can blame all they want, but ultimately that does nothing for they are a part of the problem.

    And just to clear something up, 45 years ago people had colored TVs.

    Dan Lalor
    Period 2

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  84. The Newsroom first 8 minutes: http://youtu.be/BJWKccHQFOA

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  85. The way this article started off had me asking myself questions. In Frank Brunis article, "America the Shrunken" he had asked his friend his thoughts on if he thought his kids were going to grow up in a prosperous America. He shrugged and laughed bitterly, "I’m hoping to leave them a lot of money.” This quote caused me to ask myself questions. For example, will young children have to grow up and work harder then my generation? Because we're becoming more advanced in technology and everything is becoming more expensive from time to time? I think so.
    Tatiana H
    Period 8

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  86. I think everyone is making too big a deal out of this. Just because America isn't the number one in every category, doesn't mean we aren't perfectly happy and striving in our own ways. Joel Kotkin said, “Once a nation of competitive omnivores and carnivores, America could be turning more docile — a country of content, grazing herbivores,” which can be very true. There's a very good possibility that the majority of American's are perfectly happy the way we are. Obviously there's a reason that so many people in the world want to come to work and live in America and bring there families here. We must still have something going for us. Maybe it's the lack of pressure, the fact that we don't force our children or our society to be the best in everything they do. We teach them to just be happy. That's the true American Dream.

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