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Introduction
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Opinion
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Self-Test
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R.O. Dent says that Mickey Mouse is a well loved symbol of the greatness of America. He represents a long carefree era when everything in the world has gone well for the most prosperous nation on earth. He symbolises the prosperity of Americans throughout a period when they have dominated the world both economically and politically.

Michel Souris says Mickey Mouse, the charming little mouse from Walt Disney, is known around the world. He is considered a playful character who often gets into trouble but inevitably comes out on top. His resourcefulness and wit are regarded as symbolising all that is best about America and the Americans. While it is true that Mickey Mouse symbolises America this should not be regarded as a positive but rather a negative feature of the small rodent's character.

R.O. Dent also says that it is significant that a creature often viewed in other countries as a pest to be eradicated can rise in the United States of America to become a movie star and a household name. This symbolises the American dream where everyone (including apparently rodents and quite possibly many other non-human personalities) can expect freedom of speech, freedom of actions and freedom to make an honest living. It is important to note in this context that the rise to fame and or riches of an underdog has long been a popular theme in the folk lore of western countries in general but of America in particular.

Michel Souris also says that the fame of Mickey Mouse has spread around the world in the same way that Coca Cola and MacDonalds have arrived in even the most obscure corners of the earth. It has been promoted by the American publicity machine. This is a form of insidious colonialism that is far more evil than the European colonialism of the past. In their era the Europeans were unstoppable just as Mickey Mouse and all that follows is unstoppable. The important difference is that European colonialism was immediately noticeable and, therefore, more possible to resist.

He also says that for nine tenths of the world Mickey Mouse is not, in fact, the loveable underdog who manages to succeed in the land of plenty. He is not the role model who shows children how to interact socially with groups of friends and with individuals of the opposite sex. He is, by contrast, a dictator who moulds children to social behaviour patterns which are alien to their society. He fosters rampant consumerism among nations who are economically unready for it, thus, creating bankrupted dependent client states. He also contributes to linguistic colonisation.


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