Iel Nacirema Essay

The Body Ritual of the Nacirema Essay

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The Body Ritual of the Nacirema

It is human nature to describe one's own culture as the most advanced and most intellectual. Unfortunately, it is also common practice to look down upon the practices of another culture because they are not similar to one's own traditions. The ability to do this can sometimes be a damaging characteristic for society as a whole. Horace Miner realized the implications of egocentric views and wrote a groundbreaking essay to open society's eyes to their biases.

'The Body Ritual of the Nacirema' was written by Horace Miner for shock value. The article describes the rituals of a people which on the surface seem to be barbaric and highly out of date for that time at which the article was…show more content…

Other practices described seemed so nonsensical like that of a people the believed in witchery, or rituals of putrid or outlandish that a readers stomach could turn from learning of some of the rituals these people partake in.

In a reflection of this essay one would think of how undeveloped this culture is, yet on further investigation the reader would come to discover the true identity of the people being described. This barbaric, unruly, and unsophisticated society Horace Miner had just described in such detail was the American people!

Knowing the true meaning of the article upon rereading it once more the ideas and traditions click. The somewhat fabricated or concealed details of all those traditions make sense and one can understand exactly what Miner is describing. In fact, one probably participates in these practices himself!

Miner?s creative writing style in this essay was critical to the effect it had on his readers. The disdain the reader felt at first when reading the description of this people soon turns into an embarrassment of sorts because one realizes that he has been fooled. Miner tricks his reader so well that there really should be no feelings of resentment for the way Miner presents the information he has gathered

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