Jim Cullen 's The American Dream

965 Words Sep 30th, 2015 4 Pages
What is the American Dream? Some describe the American Dream as a two parent family with two kids and a dog living in a home with a white picket fence. Others declare having millions of dollars and a beach home is the ultimate goal. So, what exactly is the American Dream? In the Conservative conference speech “We Will Be a City upon a Hill”, Ronald Reagan demanded that traditional values defined the American Dream while President Obama argued equality was quintessential. In both presidential speeches, they each discussed two vastly drastic interpretations of the American Dream however, their speeches both themed constructs seen in Jim Cullen’s book to support their arguments. Jim Cullen, author of The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation, made an argument that there is no concise definition of the American Dream. He argued the nation 's transition over the centuries have modified Americans’ aspirations in life. Additionally, he categorized the American Dream into six specific versions— Good Life, I, II, III, Freedom/ Independence, Equality, and Home/Land ownership— gave notion that those all versions composed the American Dream.
In President Reagan’s 1974 speech, he disputed that a shift in American goals has occurred as America has grown (Reagan). One construct referenced throughout the entire speech is what Cullen called the Good Life I. In Reagan 's speech, he defined it as the Puritan Dream based on fundamental ideas of discipline and…

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