America is a country of many races and many cultures. Different cultures bring fresh ideas and often behavioural differences. It is important to respect people for their diverse thinking and for the way they respond. We should encourage them to settle into the American way of life, but at the same give them time. We should be wary about condemning different races for the way they behave, if all we are seeking is to make ourselves feel a little more comfortable.
Jessica Mitford talks about the way American people treat a person's dead body in her essay, “Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain.” She gives a lot of details of how a dead body is processed into a beautiful “live doll” and how people act during a funeral. In the last paragraph, she use the word “doll” to describe how a dead body has been. It is clear that she doesn’t like the way a dead body is treated.
I think there are many ways people can deal with death. Body wax is just one of the ways. One common way of dealing with the disposal of the body in America is that they cremate the dead body and keep the ashes. If Mitford doesn’t like any of these ways, she could always choose her own method of disposal of the body. Although the authorities would expect a certain complaince to decency.
Horace Miner in his essay, “Body Ritual among the Nacirema,” talks about a group of primitive North American. Their actions are strange and hard to be understood. They give great importance to their mouths, and a holy mouth man makes holes in their teeth and fills the cavities with ritual objects to arrest decay and to ensure they gain friends. Miner believes with our modern thinking people could deal with some difficulties easily, but these primitive men don’t appear to be able to solve their problems. We cannot look down on them because we have developed different technique with modern medicines to deal with illness and structures to handle social problems. We should accept that they have their ways of dealing with issues and if they want to continue, and if nobody is being abused, then they should be allowed their customs.
This was a bit of a stinker but armed with a little information about the Nacirema I hope I have done it justice.