Over time, some idealistic landscape images become central to a cultures definition of itself.
These archetypal icons are so ingrained in national identity that successive generations accept them and
their cultural importance without question.
During the twentieth century, changes in social, political, and economic spheres have altered North American
worldviews. As a result, interpretation of some iconic landscapes has shifted. For example, a place that
was considered a natural wonder a century ago may now be considered a tourist trap - two very different
interpretations. These landscapes remain loaded with meaning, except the meaning has changed. What was once
a serious cultural icon may be transformed by shifting social values into a cultural stereotype.