Have you ever ask yourself if what you have define who you truly are? Most people have asked themselves this same question over and over. Materialism as Twitchell says in his essay “Two Cheers for Materialism” is not always bad, but to me it depends on how bad a person wants materialistic things. In fact, nobody needs materialism at all to define who they are as Rosenbaum says in his essay “In Defense of Obama’s Patriotism.” As mentioned before a lot of people have asked themselves the same question. Although since a very young age most people think of materialism as a way to fit in our society there is a minority who disagree with them.
I found interesting how Rosenbaum’s essay and Twitchell’s essay differ from each other, but in the same topic. Rosenbaum in “In Defense of Obama’s Patriotism” explains how a person can be patriotic or American without being materialistic. He uses President Obama as an example, explaining that Obama chooses not to wear a flag pin or put his hand over his heart. With this example Rosenbaum is telling us that people do not have to have materialistic things in order to display who they are. On the other hand Twitchell believes that materialistic things define what people are and belief. He makes his point very clear when he says that we live for things and we change ourselves by changing our things (Twitchell 44).
George Saunders is a writer in the New York Times magazine. He writes short stories, essays, and children’s books. Saunders also wrote this quote “You don’t want to be that parent – the one who dresses his kid in a cloth sack when all the other kids are in Armani cloth sacks – especially in a time like ours, when materialism is not only rampant and ascendant the only game in town.” First of all why should we care what other people think about us? A brand is not going to make someone better than the other one. What people wear is not the most important thing on them, and not every time what people have on define who they are. For instance, if someone’s son has a “cloth sack” is not a big deal the kid is not going to die just because of the “cloth sack.” Not everything revolves around material things.
According to Twitchell people need materialistic things to feel good about themselves, but there is a minority who do not feel and think that way. In that minority I include myself. I love soccer, to exercise and different kind of sports, but is rare when I am wearing sport clothes. In fact, if I am not at the gym or performing an activity that requires me to wear sport clothes most of the time I will not wear it. Also the color of most of my shirts is black and some pink which is very rare because neither of those are my favorite colors. So, people by looking at me might think that my favorite colors are pink and black. They would never imagine that I love soccer or that I like to exercise just by looking at me. In other words, material things do not define what a person is. It might say a lot of a person’s personality depending on how important materialism for that person is. That is exactly Rosenbaum’s point people do not have to have certain things in order to demonstrate how they are or what they believe.
However; in order to fit in our society some people feel the necessity of having something like Twitchell says. The kids now want all kind of electronic devices because three or more of her friends have them. For instance, my sister who is eleven asked my mom several times last year to give her an iPod or a cell phone for Christmas because most of her friends had one. After all my mom ended up giving her an iPod. My sister did not even need an iPod; she just wanted it because her friends had some kind of electronic device. Thinking on Twitchell’s essay his opinion about materialism in this case applies to my sister. Materialistic things can make people feel they need that specific thing because it gives them a sense of distinction in society.
According to ABC News in 2009 twenty percent of kids between the ages six to eleven years old had cell phones. Moreover, cell phone ownership has increased dramatically over the past five years. It has been increased by 80.5 percent among ten to eleven years olds. My sister is in that rank too; she does not has a cell phone, but she has an iPod which is basically the same thing they are both electronic devices. Having in mind that iPods with internet can function as cell phones. Is not bad to have an electronic device, but a ten or eleven year old kid does not has the necessity of one. Most of the time they just want to feel “cool” and at the same level of their friends. So, Twitchell is right when he says that material things make people feel better. I do not agree with him because there is always going to be an exception.
In general materialism is bad; not at all, but it has its bad side. It depends on how bad people want materialistic things. Since a very young age some people think of materialism of a way to define themselves or to fit into our society. It is very clear that young kids now think of materialism more than they did in the past. From my prospective materialism do not define what a person is and should not be the most important thing for kids. If kids learn to be materialistic since a young age imagine how they would think and act twenty years from now.
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