On The Body Rituals Among The Nacirema

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In this dystopian piece of writing, Miner illustrates the features and phenomena in the society of 'Nacirema'. This unknown exotic person seems to live in the very early time of civilization, practicing their weird and harsh rituals and controlled by a class of professionals who are forbidding and imposing specific practices and cures on them. On first reading this piece of writing may feel pity about these people, having been manipulated by those professionals, forcing them to do some rituals and addict to some drugs to cure some disease and maladies, that may be caused originally by the practices or the negligence of these professionals. Furthermore, not only they are addicted to these rituals and cures to recover from diseases, but also to reach the high standards of beauty and normality these people have overwhelmed themselves with, and again the professionals are the last winners and the poor people are the losers.

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Using a variety of rhetorical devices, Miner tries to hide the main meaning of some words and blur names to make the reader think and analyze the text more flexibly and critically. One of the rhetorical devices that he uses is syntax by reversing names. Some would be surprised when they first know that Miner, in fact, means 'American' by 'Nacirema' and that he was actually describing Americans in the first half of the 20th century by using syntax. His use of diction is also obvious as we read through the text. For instance, he uses a bunch of academic terms such as 'market economy', 'Pathological horror', and 'Masochistic tendencies' to give a scientific dye to the text, while he adds some supernatural words to the text like 'Charms', 'Magical potions', and 'Devils' to make it look more mysterious. Moreover, allegory is also used when Miner is trying to hide the real purpose of the text by masking it with 'Nacirema' society. Miner also uses other rhetorical devices such as process analysis and irony for similar purposes.

After we understand the text, we recognize how much of miner's dystopian world is similar today not only in America but among the rest of the 'civilized' peoples as well. The fact that our doctors today, who are implied as 'medicine men' in the article, are representing a less apparent, but same purposed case. A considerable part of doctors today take their profession as a business more than a humanitarian duty when they put health standards, suggest specific treatments, manage rituals, impose diets, prevent practices, and many other actions. They even go further in inventing new technologies and tools for making people 'look better and, therefore, increasing the gaps between the classes of people in society. Simple people who just like to be themselves or have no capability of purchasing those tools and doing surgeries find themselves exposed to the criticism and mockery of some shallow-minded people.

Therefore, ethicists and anthropologists should work on restricting these phenomena and make their best efforts to restrict doctors from following these approaches and start bringing back this profession to its intended principles. Besides that, they should aware people that the idea of judging people because of their appearance and treating them according to it is an ignorant act. 'Looking from far and above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic.' Minor here, as an anthropologist, is cautioning his colleagues not to judge other societies by their standard, but from the scope of those societies themselves rather. And he continues 'But without its power and guidance early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could man have advanced to the higher stages of civilization.' meaning that human's civilizations all started with violence, oppression, and manipulation and continued taking that approach until they reached their development and culture today.

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On The Body Rituals Among The Nacirema. (2021, July 15). WritingBros. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/on-the-body-rituals-among-the-nacirema/
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