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Character of “The Octopus” by Frank Norris Essay

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2020

Presley embodies many of the character traits associated with Americans by other people around the world. It is true that Americans are different people, and can be easily noticed even when they are in a group of people from different countries. They are known for their hospitality, industriousness, determination, readiness to fight for their rights, respect for other people, and even animals, and the desire to always improve on their current situations.

These qualities are mainly fueled by the American Dream, which emphasizes working hard and assisting other people all over the world. Presley, just as a typical American, works very hard, shows respect for the people around him, exhibits the desire to improve his life and succeed in all his endeavors and also fights for other people. Therefore, he is a typical American, at least judging by his behaviors.

Americans have, over the years, been saviors of many people and countries all over the world. They always intervene whenever there is a problem anywhere in the world. For example, when Saddam Hussein was a problem to the people of Iraq, America intervened and saved the people by getting rid of him. Later, when Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaida group embarked on merciless killings around the world, America came in and killed him. America has not only intervened in matters of war.

The American government and its individual citizens have demonstrated extensive philanthropy to people all over the world. They have donated foodstuffs, financial aid, and physical amenities to needy people regardless of where they come from or the languages they speak. This spirit is very evident in Presley. He, with a lot of determination, goes out in such of a surveyor to help solve the stalemate between the ranchers and the railroad (Norris 12).

Apart from fighting for other people, Americans are also known for their determination and industriousness. They always work hard regardless of their fields of operation. Typical Americans never give up on whatever they do, no matter the challenges they experience in the process. For example, after the 9/11 strike, many people thought America would despair and get divided. However, they picked themselves from the strike and continued with life with renewed vigor. This is the same spirit Presley exhibits in his activities. When the story begins, he is riding a bicycle despite the scorching sun (Norris 1). His body feels like taking lunch, but he is determined to forget about lunch until he finishes what he wants to achieve (Norris 2). He is also determined to be a famous poet once he gets a good topic for his poem, and indeed, he succeeds.

In addition to his determination to succeed in writing a good poem and solving his people’s problem, he also demonstrates the willingness to advance his studies and make his life better through going to school and attaining a post-graduate degree with high honors at a very young age. He is only thirty but has a post-graduate degree (Norris 5). Americans are known to be lovers of books and education in general.

Presley is also very respectful of other people around him. For example, when Mrs. Derrick asks him to go for her mail-in Bonneville, he does not refuse despite having a tight schedule (Norris 1). He is ready to go all the way. This is a clear indicator of respect for Mrs. Derrick. Very few people in the world believe in such kind of respect, where an individual is ready to go through difficulties just to help a friend.

All these traits make him a real American. Everything he does is similar to what Americans are commonly known for. He is hardworking, respectful, determined, and always thinking about improving his current status.

Works Cited

Norris, Frank. The Octopus, Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2003. Print.

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