“Democracy,” written by Amy Tan suggests that American citizens take their freedom for granted. Americans have the freedom rights of expression, contracts and legal departments to protect them, and the right to put differences of opinion to a vote. There are other places in the world where the people who reside in them can only dream of these rights and wonder what it feels like to be free. In Tan’s writing she explains how China is one of these places that don’t have the everyday rights we have here in the United States. The majority of us don’t appreciate or respect these rights as much as we should.
Tan suggests that when the people of China hear the word “Democracy,” they don’t define it in terms of electoral colleges, First Amendment rights or civil lawsuits like we as Americans would typically think of. She believes the dream and thoughts of democracy is a brawny wanting feeling in their chest that has been restrained for so long it just grows larger and much more persevering until it bursts and they don’t want to be quiet anymore. They want to be heard, listened to, and hear what others have to say. Tan visited China in 1987 and saw through an entirely different way of life, a life that could have been hers.
Tan narrates the tale of her niece’s wedding. INSERT. Comparison of American viewpoints vs. the Chinese.
We should consider ourselves fortunate to live in a democratic society that allows us to express our individuality, and value what is important to us. Tan’s essay provides a comparative view of other cultures, and also reminds us to appreciate the true meaning of democracy.