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Mounties v. Cowboys Essay

1. Sarah Vowell reverses her friend’s assertion of Canada not being inspirational by writing about the Royal Canadian Mounted police, and how they are different from American cowboys who were taught to shoot any Indian that approached camp. The Mounties knew to avoid America’s problem with the western Native American tribes. She compares Canada’s one law for everyone to the America that always spoke of equal rights, yet they still have a lot of work to do about it. Although Canada may seem like a boring country that hasn’t really done much, it was actually a place of refuge for the north-west Native American tribes back in the day. The Indians called the border line between America and Canada the “medicine line”, and if they did not want to be shot at for approaching American settlers, that is where they needed to go. It may look like the Mounties haven’t done anything dangerous or victorious, but they are known for their fairness to Indians who seek refuge in their country, and that is how I see Sarah Vowell reversing her friends’ assertion that Canadian history “isn’t inspiring”.

2. I think Sarah Vowell was expecting her readers not to be so surprised that Americans don’t really think about Canada at all. Canada isn’t really considered a threat to America because it’s such a peaceful and harmless country. Sara vowell even mentions how Canada gained independence through polite meetings with Britain. Other countries would just go to war to gain their independence. If Canadians could gain their independence just for being nice and cooperative, what is there to worry about? People don’t really take Canada seriously anyway. Canada is like that one neighbor that never leaves the house, but is always happy and welcoming when people go to visit. So when an American says they don’t think about Canada at all, they mean it.

3. “Cowboys v. Mounties” is a Rhetorical mode compare and contrast essay. Sarah Vowell compares the Canada and America’s patriotism. She compares the Canadians who are so selfless and non-violent, to the Americans who are so aggressive and prideful. One way we know for sure that this is would be a compare and contrast essay is just by reading the title. It says “Cowboys V. Mounties”. Another way we know that this is a compare and contrast essay is by the way the Canadian woman asked an American man what Americans really thought about Canada. His response would later lead into the author comparing two countries.

4. Sarah Vowell’s introduction strategy begins with relevant background material. She starts off her first sentence in all capital letters, and that definitely catches the readers’ eye. I like the way Sarah Vowell keeps her readers interested and curious through her opening sentence “CANADA HAUNTS ME”. Of course, people want to know how a very peaceful country could haunt someone. I think that the audience that Sarah vowell was trying or expecting to hook was the Americans, and that her whole purpose was to change their point of view on Canadian history and their country. 5. Sarah Vowell’s opinion in the sermon is similar to her ideas about American and Canadian culture in “Cowboys v. Mounties”. Just from synthesizing the article and quote from the book, we could tell that in general, Sarah Vowell thinks that the “peaceful and cooperative” America that everyone dreams of is actually Canada.

In the quote and article, it looks like Sarah admires Canada for the way they handle things, like their fairness to everyone. It looked like she was trying to say that America needs to be calmer instead of being all aggressive, and that they need to start acting on things they always speak of. Both of these countries were under the rule of Great Britain and they both wanted independence. They just achieved it differently. America went to war and Canada went to meetings. I think what Sarah vowell is trying to say through her writings is that America doesn’t need to be so prideful and mean just to be a great country.

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