I Dream

1534 WordsJul 11, 20187 Pages
“All men are created equal”, was proclaimed by our forefathers in the declaration of independence, and is the foundation of the American Dream. Since James Truslow Adams coined the term “American Dream” in1931 (Wiki), a hope for the fulfillment of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet, in this era, the harsh reality of poverty threatened life, restricted liberties, and covered happiness with dust. As FDR put it so well, “For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.” (Teslow Lecture) So why would Adams conceive of the “American Dream” in the midst of the economic disparity in the Great Depression? Perhaps it was because we don’t know what we have until…show more content…
“During WWI, wheat brought record-high prices on the world market, and for the next twenty years farmers turned the region into a vast wheat factory” (OOM pg. 675) This destroyed the native grasses and top soil. When the drought and dust storms hit, tens of millions of acres of rich topsoil blew away. A Denver journalist named the worst region near eastern Colorado the “Dust Bowl”. “Black blizzards of dust a mile and a half high rolled across the landscape, darkening the sky …Dust storms made it difficult to breathe. “Dust pneumonia “and other respiratory infections afflicted thousands (OOM pg. 675). “ The photo “Farmer and Sons in Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936” by Arthur Rothstein (DAP pg. 269), captures the horror of this disaster. A father and his two small sons cover their eyes from the black air that permeates the photo. They are making their way for cover to a small dilapidated shack the size of a shed. The shack appears to likely provide little protection from the darkness that is filling their lungs. Other than the shack, and the people, the photo shows nothing. The land is barren; there are neither animals nor even roads are shown. The photo leaves us to wonder how they survive, or even if they will. If they were to leave, would they have to do so on foot? With the storms, and the lack of money, they are essentially trapped. Photos like these, as well as literature about the devastation led to national sympathy. FDR tried to address this
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