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Miss Usa

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Lizz9677
Words 319
Pages 2
The American Dream

Studs Terkel’s “Miss USA” interview of a young Emma Knight portrays the reality of the “American Dream”. Through Emma Knight, Terkel describes the life of a beauty queen using irony and pessimism.

With Emma Knight’s negative self image, she projects herself as being unsuitable for the beauty queen pageant as she states, “NO, uh-uh, never, never, never. I’ll lose, how humiliating.” However, she enters and ironically goes on to win the Miss USA pageant. Terkel continues to express the irony of Knight by including her thoughts after the second night saying, “I thought: This will soon be over, get on a plane tomorrow, and no one will be the wiser. Except that my name got called as one of the fifteen.” Still showing the lack of confidence the young contestant displays her ability to fit in or belong in the world of pageantry.

Terkel also utilizes a pessimistic tone in addition to the irony expressed throughout the interview of Emma Knight. In the interview Knight says “If I could put that banner and crown on that lamp, I swear to God ten men would come in and ask it for a date.” Therefore, implying that only the crown and banner makes a woman appealing. Another depiction of pessimism illustrated is her statement in the beginning of the interview saying, “It’s mostly what’s known as t and a, tits and ass. No talent.” implying that the pageants are mostly for demoralizing the women in it.

Emma Knight’s tone throughout the story of the American Dream would lead to the conclusion that she has never wanted to be a part of the beauty queen pageants. Even after all of her achievements she still was pessimistic about everything. Not showing any confidence that maybe she can compete and win. Therefore, through her good fortune, was her negativity in her accomplishments real or was it just a...

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