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Culture Impact: The American Apple Pie

Cultural works differ in shapes, colors, and tastes and represent anything meaningful to a nation. Many cultures are associated with a specific food that has become conventional long ago. Food is enjoyable to view from a cultural standpoint because it usually reflects historical events. Traditional American apple pie is what I have chosen as a cultural work from the world around me. Hence, this paper aims to analyze why this dish is connected to the United States, study a culture work from a different country, and evaluate the impact of diversity in humanity.

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Before the first settlers arrived from the European continent, America knew nothing about apple trees. While the trees our forefathers planted grew, apples appeared, ways of storing and using the fruit were discovered after many more years passed. The first pies were sturdy and almost inedible because they consisted of cheap sugar and butter, dating back to 1514 (Kelly, 2021). However, one publisher posted an article about World War I, and the citizens started associating the sugary dessert with freedom and prosperity (Kelly, 2021). After World War II, apple pies truly entered the American mind as a patriotic pastry (Kelly, 2021). The state soldiers would say they protected the country for “mom and apple pie” (Kelly, 2021, p. 20). Hence, the pastry was a symbol of patriotism and motherly love. Given such an impressive historical foundation, for me, the roots of the phenomenon of American apple pie are the characteristic that stands out to me to the greatest extent.

Culture Impact: Purpose of the American Apple Pie

As stated above, it can be said that the most significant element of this cultural work is its historical background. If people had not mentioned it in difficult times, it might not have become as popular and certainly not the staple it is now (Rayevsky, 2017). The pie’s association with different celebrations is another characteristic that makes it stand out as being a culture known by many native Americans. It became successful because of its rich flavor and easy recipe, and perhaps the authors of the pie aimed to unite people by alluding them to the pastry (Johnson, 2020). Numerous marketers used the image of apple pie to create customer loyalty. As a result, it is one of the most well-known symbols associated with the United States.

Culture Impact: Creative Expression

Creativity is a permanent attribute of human activity because every person strives for self-expression to one degree or another. A creative person is capable of self-improvement and innovative and creative training. A person with favorable creative pursuits needs specific qualities and combinations (Bradley & Johnson, 2021). The possibility of self-realization is inherent in the human personality from birth and is of the most critical importance in any person’s life (Bradley & Johnson, 2021). Self-realization is a mechanism for the disclosure and identification of hidden talents and inclinations of the individual, conducive to a successful life in the future. Acts of creative self-expression can form new creative currents iconic symbols, thus positively influencing human society. American apple pie is not just a delicious dish but also almost an essential sign of identity, which, in turn, is a component of the act of self-expression.

At this point, an interrelation between art, culture, and creators should be explored. Culture may be seen as the manifestation of humanity’s ingenuity in its broadest sense. Purposes, knowledge, abilities, industries, civility, and values are all tied to culture. Art has a particular ability to capture the prevailing winds as they effect the formation and evolution of civilizations. For many individuals, art and culture are inextricably related to spiritual dogmas, including regionally based understandings of nature, humanity, and deities. It should be noted that a creator is inevitably affected by cultural and artistic practices of society in which they exist.

Hence, it seems apparent that American apple pie – at its initial stages as a symbol – was created under the mentioned conditions. Particularly, the value of patriotism that was among the prominent ones during World War II, contributed to the soldiers’ ideas such as fighting for “mom and apple pie” (Kelly, 2021, p. 20). From the chosen cultural phenomenon, a concise understanding of the abovementioned interrelation can be obtained.

State the Questions: Relationship between Culture and Expression

Culture is a specific human activity to create spiritual and material values. Its result is a dynamic system of symbols, ideas, patterns, traditions, norms of behavior embodied in the social development of a person in their spiritual world. It means that it is human who creates culture, but at the same time, culture creates human (Kuppers, 2017). Thus, by its essence, culture is turned to man as a mirror in all its manifestations, types, and forms. Looking into it, they strive to know and understand themselves more deeply, to become more exciting and more attractive. The appeal of culture to humans, while remaining constant in its directions, forms of expression, is constantly changing (Kuppers, 2017). It is possible to formulate the following questions concerning the relationship between culture and self-expression:

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  • How does a particular culture affect a person’s self-expression?
  • Does human self-expression have an impact on a specific culture?
  • Why is a particular culture and human expression closely related?
  • How do culture and its expressions impact each other?

State Questions: Values Regarding the Traditional American Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of America’s most recognizable and beloved symbols. This dish is considered a symbol of family, home comfort, peace, tranquility, and happiness, which are essential values of the American people (Kelly, 2021). The love of the American people for apple pie was vividly manifested during two wars, the Civil War and the Second World War. In these challenging times, women sent pies to soldiers at the front to remind them of the home where they were loved and waited for, raising their morale; this food symbolized a piece of home for them (“Why Americans Love Their Apple Pie | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian..”, n.d.). Thus, the connection between apple pie and the motherland is forever fixed in the minds of Americans.

Given the arguments provided above, questions concerning essential values and how they are formed under the influence of other people’s opinions can be formulated as follows:

  • What values are the most important for a person?
  • How can life values change under the influence of other people?
  • How important is it to have solid life values?
  • How do cultural values and cultural works impact each other?

Answering the Questions

Among the central life values of people, one can single out optimism. The example of optimism foreshadows the most valuable quality that allows seeing the good in absolutely everything. In addition, the essential quality is love as an attitude to the surrounding world and the living beings in it, imbued with kindness and compassion. Faith in people is a feeling that extends both to others and oneself, including determination, willpower, and a sense of trust.

Indeed, it is impossible not to include friendship and family as the oldest and most important human values, without which a human personality cannot be formed correctly and fully. Some people can change someone’s views on the world throughout life, which is a normal process since a person is constantly changing and developing. Nevertheless, it is wrong to negatively influence other people’s life values, distort them or manipulate them with their help. To not fall under evil influence, it is necessary to have strong life values and moral guidelines.

It should be stressed that by exploring the chosen cultural work, the formulated questions can be addressed. Particularly, American apple pie is directly associated with the value of patriotism. Shedding light on its historical retrospective allows one to understand the interrelation between the nation, its history, and culture. American values can be studied from a specific perspective, which gives a number of opportunities to investigate life values from the angles of culture, significant events, and individuals’ visions. The necessary data can be retrieved from sources that contain the necessary historical facts within the scope of American apple pie symbolism.

Culture Shift

During World War I, the article published in the Boston Daily Globe had a key role in popularizing apple pie as an emblem of patriotism. People began to associate this dish with the liberty and wealth they had as Americans after 1918 (Paul, 2020). It seems reasonable to emphasize that the nation was under pressing conditions of armed confrontations and was bearing the burden of losing the considerable numbers of its citizens. People needed a symbol that would not directly represent war affairs but rather give associations with coziness and peace of the homeland (Anastopoulo, 2021). The events that led to this necessity were indeed severe and significant, so Americans simply could not abandon the symbol that was serving as a “tasteful ray of hope.” The historical background has shown that the mentioned need in the symbolic embodiment of patriotism, or the cultural shift in the context given, has been accepted and established by the following generations.

Culture Shift: Study of Humanities

The changes that took place at the turn of the century in the content and methodology of social and humanitarian knowledge the development and deepening of interdisciplinary ties led to a radical restructuring of the complex of research fields focused on the study of man and society in historical time. Dialogue with the past is a constant and dynamic factor in the development of any civilization. This historical memory, both “short”, covering the events of the immediate past, and “long-term”, is an integral part of the culture of any human society. Ideas about the past vary depending on the historical time, on the changes taking place in society, the change of generations, the emergence of new needs, practices, and meanings. Within the scope of the topic given, the historical set of theoretical tools – concepts – was utilized and informed explanation of the described cultural shift. In particular, the notions of significance and cause and effect were used. The former allowed distinguishing the mentioned cultural shift and understanding its importance. The latter, in turn, contributed to exploring the sequence of events that led to it in an appropriate manner.

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Relationship Between Creative Expression and Culture: American Apple Pie

Every culture matters, and if an individual wants to preserve their traditions while living in a different community, others should respect them. It also develops critical thinking as one learns to evaluate the meaning of a specific cultural item to the nation. Cultural works help a nation express its values, traditions, and history. While one is getting acquainted with a different country’s artwork, one must treat the other with respect, expanding their consciousness, improving communication, and exploring the world around them. The obtained knowledge may be used in everyday settings, primarily when people live, study, or work with individuals from different parts of the world.

It should be noted that while individuals have their own values, creators often seek to express values that embrace other points of view and express shared cultural experiences, which helps both the creator and their audience broaden their understanding of the world and other perspectives. The case of American apple pie seems to support the latter assumption, given that various creators have been trying to express the essence of this symbol through different perspectives, still promoting similar ideas (VanSchmus, 2021). Such cultural works demonstrate the significance of diversity in the framework of creative expression and culture – values, beliefs, and visions.

Relationship Between Creative Expression and Culture: The Study of the Humanities

Looking through the lens of humanities affects the perception of cultural works so that it creates an understanding of the reasons behind their creation. It establishes respect for different cultures because it is observable that a single event could affect the entire nation, and one can see its reflection through the painting, for instance. Through exploration of cultural works via humanities, one learns to think creatively and innovatively (Bryant, 2018). It also helps preserve the value and meaning of historical events and imagine the future. People can realize the reasons for an artworks’ creation while studying the information about the author or the preceding event (Shaughnessy, 2017). In general, looking from such a perspective helps understand the world and take multiple standpoints for considering various issues.

Impact on Today’s Issues: American Apple Pie

The above discussion has shown a considerable variety of approaches that can be used to understand the cultural phenomenon of American apple pie. The prominent issue that was explored is the relation of this symbol to the essential value of patriotism. It would be rational to say that the latter takes a crucial place in Americans’ state of mind. Its representation through a particular image that is directly associated with significant events from the past has not lost its relevance today. By appealing to the background of American apple pie, one can understand the importance of patriotism to the nation. During the harsh events of latent and direct confrontation, the use of this symbol will always remind the citizens of their spiritual strengths and the great obstacles that were overcome.

Impact on Today’s Issues: The Study of the Humanities

The study of the humanities contributed to the comprehension of American apple pie’s essential through the historical retrospective. In particular, the concept of significance provided the opportunity to distinguish the importance of this phenomenon in the interrelated sequence of events (History Skills, n.d.). By utilizing this notion, it was also found that the discussed symbol is of considerable importance today. It may be argued that the historical approach to the issue stresses that American patriotism can be seen as a thread penetrating the essence of the nation, to which the latter constantly appeals even today when severe economic, social, or political issues and escalations take place.

References

Anastopoulo, R. (2021). Why apple pie isn’t so American after all. Food52. Web.

Bradley, J. L., & Johnson, D. A. (2021). Creating Creativity: A Behavior Analytic Approach. Psychological Record, 71(4), 553–565. Web.

Bryant, M. (2018). Free your mind: How students challenge the narrative by challenging themselves. Education Digest, 83(9), 21.

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History Skills. (n.d.). Historical significance. Web.

Kelly, A. (2021). As American as apple pie: The cultural impact of war. Times Literary Supplement, 6172, 20.

Kuppers, P. (Executive Producer). (2017). Being human [Audio podcast]. SoundCloud. Web.

Paul, G. (2020). History of apple pie – the longstanding, adopted American symbol. Many Eats. Web.

Rayevsky, L. (2017). Apple pie: The history of the American symbol. Forum Daily. Web.

Shaughnessy, M. F. (2017). The humanities: Past, present and future. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

VanSchmus, E. (2021). The historical reason we associate apple pie with the Fourth of July. Better Homes & Gardens. Web.

Why Americans Love Their Apple Pie | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian. Web.

Johnson, T. M. (2020). Global discipleship is as American as apple pie. Gordon Conwell. Web.

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