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American Voice, American Dreams StoryCorps Project

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Mary Callanan

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of American Voice, American Dreams StoryCorps Project

The American Dream
People's View of The American Dream
Over time, the individuals view of the American Dream changes, but the general theme always stays relatively the same. All people - no matter what generation they're from - want the same things from life; freedom, prosperity, and being able to live out their lives to the fullest. While Jacob Stanzer, age 23, said the American dream meant capitalism and hard work, Jessica Rassumussen, age 38, said it was about making the most out of the opportunities that we are given in our free country without being told what we have to do, or be, and having the freedom of religion, which means we can choose what to believe to guide us through the whole adventure, Judy Lamken, age 73, said it was all about enjoying a great family, and Jill Haberman, age 49, said it meant being able to pursue whatever you are most passionate about. All of these points revolve around central points. Being able to own private property, which is what capitalism is about, we can live out the dreams we have in the freedom and peace of mind knowing no one can take it away from us. Two of our freedoms are freedom of religion which is one of the most important freedoms, and freedom of speech. By having these freedoms and prosperity, we can enjoy our families. And by pursuing our passions, we live our lives to the fullest and live them out in the best way we can.
Generations and thoughts
The Great Gatsby's representation of the American Dream vs. Death of a Salesman's
In the Great Gatsby, Gatsby's thought of the American Dream was having riches and money, even if it involved being corrupt to get this way.
In the Death of a Salesman, Willy's view of the American Dream is working hard to have opportunities given to him and being able to provide for his family. Although Willy ended up mixed up in the end, he still fought hard for his dreams, even if they were unattainable.
Out of the people that we interviewed, they all related more closely to Willy's idea of the American Dream in the Death of a Salesman than Gatsby's in The Great Gatsby.
The Changing Face of the American Dream
The American Dream has changed throughout the years of what people think that it is and the opportunities that are given to achieve it. Yet while individuals views' have changed, it is amazing how little the dream has changed as a whole. The opportunities given in each generation are different, but no matter the circumstance, every generation strives to be free, have the basic necessities, and make their life better than their parents was and hope that their children will do the same. The United States of America has been a country for over 200 years, and it is surprising that the American Dream has not changed more than it did. Here we are, still focusing on the same goals in life that our founding fathers were working at generations before us. Larry Callahan mentioned in a interview, that the American Dream has changed in that "it is more complex". He said that when he was a kid things were more "spelled out for you" than they are now.
Young Adults:
To be able to achieve the goals you set for yourself through capitalism and hard work.
Parents, Teachers, and Coaches:
The American Dream is about free will and being able to pursue your dreams and making the most out of the opportunities that we are given in our free country.
The ability to develop our potential with the freedom that the constitution gives us and to help the future generations in fulfilling the American dream in their life as well.
Some of our grandparents also said that it is about enjoying their families and spending time with them.
Everyone has a different view of the American Dream but it all adds up to how they enjoy spending their life through hard work and dedication

Our thoughts on the American Dream:
Logan; I think that the American Dream is working hard and having freedoms so that we are able to achieve our dreams and have opportunities.

Leah: I think the American Dream is following our callings in life to the fullest and best we can and having the freedoms to do so.

Mary: I think that the American Dream is to work hard towards a possible dream that you will enjoy and to have freedom.

Caleb: I think the American Dream is being able to do whatever you want and with hard work and determination you will be able to attain your dream.
Where the American Dream is hardest to live out
The people that we interviewed all have different views of where the American Dream is hardest to live out depending on where they are in life.
One of the people interviewed, Larry Callahan thinks that from the ages of 13-25 is the hardest to live out the American Dream. He said that at this point in "your life you have to think about what you are going to do and where you are going". He also said that at this age you have to "think about how you are going to go about it".
Mrs. Haberman said that "the 20s are difficult because you are trying to figure out what you want to do and how to fund it".
On the other hand, Jacob Stanzer, said the American Dream "stays the same" in difficulty throughout life because at each age you face new challenges.

Striving to accomplish a goal can make a person stronger, perservere, and smarter.
The people that we interviewed have all had their lives changed in some way by trying to accomplish the American Dream.
Steve Rodecap said that the American Dream "has provided opportunities to be successful and achieve what is important". He also said that he has "been given avenues and have had to fight a lot of battles to get there though".
Jason White said that the American Dream has changed his life because it has shown him "what really makes him happy and what really drives" him.
Sue Zimmer said that to strive to achieve the American Dream, she "adjusted expectations and realized what’s important" in life.
We would like to thank all the people we interviewed who helped make this project possible.

Special thanks to Auntie Jess, Aunt Sue, Jacob Stanzer, Grandma Lamken, Grandpa Hank, Grandma Nancy, Grandpa Callahan, Grandpa Ardie, Grandpa White, Caleb's dad, Mary's mom, Mrs. Haberman, Mrs. Riepenhoff, Ms. Schulz, Logan's dad, Steve Rodecap, Leah's dad, Caity Tydrick, and Colin Tydrick.

We would also like to thank Mr. Loucks for introducing us to the American Dream and for being a great teacher.

Striving to Achieve the American Dream
Full transcript