At first glance I thought the essay was about the reason why he feels America is falling apart, but after reading more I now understand it better as his posing a question for the reader to answer on his own. Anthony Burgess never really takes a definite side on the topic. He gives many reasons why America is “falling apart at the seams”; on the other hand, he makes it clear that he likes America for what it is and would return. Throughout the essay, Burgess switches tones in order to give the reader a better understanding of his view. There are many stands that he takes that are biased and based solely on his one year stay in New Jersey. He makes references to other cities that he visited within the States, but all within that one year
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He states that our need for personal vehicles is why our public transportation system is so horrible. Religion is another point that Burgess brings up as a cause for our impeding failure. Freedom of religion is what makes America. There is no one major belief that we all abide by; we are eclectic in our beliefs; Burgess puts our Declaration of Independence as our only common belief. Taking note that this essay was written in the 1970 which was a time of great change in the American way, the only conclusion I can come to is, because he visited during this change, then he took part in the wavering minds of our society at that time. I do not believe this essay was written to show why America is falling apart but instead to enlighten Americans on the problems that face them today and gives suggestions on how to overcome them.
Burgess also made several positive points on America’s situation. The same things he tore us down with he used to lift us back up. When he mentions our over-indulging in the quality of life, he jumps to say that we are not going to sit back and wait for things to fix on its own. Americans will actually fight for the materialistic things we deem necessary. This is a positive reason for having that same need for luxuries, as he put it, gives Americans the fight to keep them and therefore keep the quality of life that we deem necessary. Also later in the essay Burgess states that he himself sees this as stimulating and will