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In Search Of The American Dream Northwwt Arkansas TIMES, Sun., Sept. 29, 1974 FAYETTIVILLK, ARKANIA* Utopian Spirit Lights Americas Beginnings Editor's Note: This is the i first of 18 articles exploring ! the theme, In Search of the ( American Dream, As an c introduction, it lays the groundwork for discussion oC the Utopian spirit that animated America's beginnings. The author of this article is professor of literature at the University of California, San Diego. By ROBERT C. ELLIOTT Copyright, 1974, Regents of The University ol California Distributed by Copley News Service The great magnet which for three hundred years drew people from distant lands to of a than duccd bountifully without the labor of man, where the climate was uniformly benign, where simple natives lived peaceful lives in harmony with nature. Somehow the Golden Age of which .Greek and Roman pocla had written had survived In this Ings for something better. ngs O NCE IT WAS apparent that the Golden was only a dream of the Irrecoverable past, the longings for the good life embodied in that dream were transformed into belief in a Utopian future. To the world MANY OF those who in later years shipped out to America would have felt in their hones the brutalizing social conditions in England that More describes. Even those who had never hoard of More's book would remote part of the world. Other!America became a land of gol- America was the dream life richer, freer, better Â·any ttiey had known before. ' In the world's Imagination ' America was Utopia come true: as Archibald MacLeish's poem puls It, America was promises. So it had been from the . beginning. Columbus in all seriousness assuring svrote from his their majesties ship Ferdinand and Isabella that he had discovered the Garden of Eden, and to European Intellectuals of the early sixteenth century who had read of the discoveries America seemed paradise indeed. Earliest descriptions pictured it as a land of surpassing beauty where the earth pro- rumors spoke of golden cities glittering In the sun. The good life was there for the taking. REALITY SOON overtook these fantasies, of course. The land that Columbus had said was shaped like a woman's breast, the nipple forming the earthly paradise, turned out to contain snakes and malaria and fiercely intransigent Indians. Although a Jew Spaniards found lie wealth they sought, for most colonists there was neither gold nor a Golden Age. This was an iron time all over again: men found they had to clear and dig and plant and sweat before the earth would yield its harvest. Nevertheless, the association of America with some form of the ideal life persisted. The earliest voyagers had found t h e Golden Age in the new l a n d not only because that is what their culture had prepared them den possibilities -- a land free of the tyranny and corruption of old Europe, a land where man could start over once more. That image, often tarnished and sometimes nearly forgotten, has vitality still. America was founded on an intricate and contradictory combination of these Utopian myths, dreams, houes, beliefs, Samuel Eliot Morison and Henry Steele Commager, two of lour most distinguished historians, say that from Maine to Georgia, in the mind of every major group of English pioneers, the Utopian ideal for America took off from that sixteenth century book about an ideal country, Thomas More's 'Utopia." Not that the first settlers ried to establish a replica of More's fictional commonwealth on the shores of the Atlantic --efforts of that kind came have had opened to a world of them by the hope existence of the new country. The chance to get away fiom the cruel and dreary past, to move into the future in a land where all was potentiality -that must have seemed Utopia enough. Those who knew More's work with its eloquent plea for :quality, for the abolition of in- icrited privilege, would have ip.d added substance for their dreams. It is as though "Utopia" summed up the fresh Puritans had it, America as the green hopes of an age. Inevitably, as over Hie ycnrs the virgin continent was (often brutally) possessed, the dreams were disappointed; in one s e n s e , Utopia is always "nowhere." But disappointment or no, the dreams remained potent, their function indispensable as America sought to create its future. Without a vision, without a myth of its own being, a nation flounders. T H E AMERICAN myth comes in good part from the Utopian aspirations of the founding years. Some of those aspirations were secular, some religious: America as the "great good place," or, as the "city upon a hill" for the world to emulate. However one look it, with whatever mixture of belief and skepticism, the myth has been powerful, a major energizing force in our history. Courses by Newspaper wab developed by UCSD Extension and funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with a supplement ary grant from the EXXON Education Foundation. Next: The New World as Utopia (Voyaging) by Winlhrop D Jordan, professor of history University of California, Berke ley. SA NEWS WHILE IT IS NEWS IN THE TIMES KEN COON DAY Monday--September 30 Meet Your Candidate For Governor Coffees 9:30-11 :OO.Springdale Republican Center 12! N. Main (Enter from First National Bank Parking Lot) 2:00- 4:00 Downtown Motor Inn Reception Room (Near Washington County Republican Headquarters in Fayetteville) Paid for by Ken Coon for Govenor Committee OPEN DAILY 9-10; SUNDAY CLOSED to find, but because that is what they really wanted to find. Behind the idyllic descriptions of the Indians memories of lay their hardship and turmoil at home and their long- Newspaper Course To order the-HEADER and/or. STUDY GUIDE for "In Search of THE AMERICAN DREAM," use the coupon printed below, or write to THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY, INC., P.O. Box 999, Bergenfield, N.J. 07621. Include the list price $4.50 (Reader) and/or $2.50 (Study Guide), plut 25t per copy to eover handling and mailing costs. Please send ch*ck or money order--no currency or C.O.D.'s. THE NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY, INC. P.O. Box 999, Bergenfield, New Jersey 07621 Please send me ^copy/copiet of IN SEARCH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM; READER (A Meridian Book, F422, $4.50). Please wnd me copy/copieÂ« of IN SEARCH OF THE AMERICAN DREAMi STUDY GUIDE (A Meridian Book, P423, $2.BO), t am enclosing a total of $____ Name . . ' . . . MONDAY TUESDAY Address. City- .Etate. Tha article on this page 1Â« part of Courses by Newspaper. It is offered as a public servico by this newspaper to present college-level courses through the community newspaper. The program has been hailed by the academic world and publishers across the nation as one of the brightest advances in newspaper service to readers. High Court To Study Women's Rights And Press Freedom WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court, Its historic confrontation with Richard M. Nixon's White House behind it, returns Monday to a calendar that-will test the rights of ordinary citizens -- but includes yet another challenge to presidential power. The court will grapple with familiar questions of women's rights, abortion, freedom of the press and a host of issues nver criminal procedure. The individuals involved range from high school troublemakers to rape victims to, once again, the nation's chief executive. This time, the argument is over the President's authority to impound funds appropriated by Congress. No case to be heard during the 1974-75 term is expected to be as dramatic as the court's order to Nixon last July tc yield tapes and papers wanted as Watergate evidence. But some could have more impact on the law, at least as it affects the average citizen. Among cases almost certain bo be accepted for early hearing is a challenge to the con stitutionality of the Rai: Reorganization Act passed lasl year to revive bankrupt rail roads in the Northeast. A lower federal court has held that the net is unconstitutional. On Oct. 15, the court will be gin hearing cases it has a! ready accepted, inluding twi challenges to the methods use by school authorities in dealing with unruly students. In a case from Columbus Ohio, a three-judge fedora court has struck down a slat law which says a principal ma; suspend a student for as mud as 10 days without a hearing '= And in a case from Mena, Ark. a federal court ruled that th school board exceeded its an thority in suspending two girl for spiking the punch at a horn economics parly. Later in the term, the coin will hear an appeal from state court decision upholding Georgia law which forbid broadcasters and newspaper from identifying women an girls who have been raped. Two cases alleging sex dif crimination, one against wome and one against men, are als to be heard during the openin week of arguments. The justices will review a di clsion striking down a Lou slana law which permits worn en to be chosen for jury dut only if they go to the cour 'house and volunteer in writing They will also review a lowe court ruling that federal law o .promotion of Naval officers di criminates against men. Other cases of interest t omen,, involve a Virginia ban n advertising of abortion serves and a requirement in Con- ecticut that mothers on wel- ,re divulge the names of the thers 'Of their illegitimate lildren. The court will also re- ew Iowa's requirement of a later in our history. The spirit of More's book, however, and some of its ideas found their way into basic institutions and into the value structure by which the new men and women of America lived. Thus Utopian ideas helped shape those elusive entities, the American character, the American destiny. THIS, the second Course by Newspaper, proposes to t r a c e something of that shaping process. In a time of uncertainty and contusion like the present, it would be easy to present a series of "lectures" interpreting American history as a betrayal of the original Utopian dream. That is not our purpose. The lectures in the weeks to come will focus on the persistence -for good and for bad -- of the Utopian spirit that animated this country's beginnings. This does not imply an uncrl tical orientation for the course distortion of the historical evidence. \Vithin the space available, the lectures will take full account of the mistakes, bp trayals, and sidetrackings that have marked our country's his tory, but they will concentrate on the continuity of the found ing themes: their abiding function as norms which permit us to evaluate our experience. The first group of lectures, by Professor Winthrop Jordan of the University of California, Berkeley, will be on the general topic, "The New World as Utopia." Professor Jordan will discuss the attitudes toward America of the earliest agers : ;and of the first settlers who came to this country to found a New Jerusalem. The second group o f . lectures, by Professor Michael Kammen ol Cornell University, will deal with the' influence of indigenous utopianism during the years of the Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the making of the Constitution. IN THE NEXT lectures Professor William Gcetzmann of the University of Texas will consider the impact of Utopian attitudes on selected economic, political, and religious institu- K mart Blasts Rising Prices with these Fantastic Discounts 2 Days Only! ne-year residence period *rsons seeking a divorce. for Presidential impoundments of inds, which have been struck own by federal courts in a umber of cases, will come be)re the Supreme Court for the rsl time in a case from New ork City. The city challenged ction of former President Nix- n in withholding $9 billion ap- ropriated ontrol. for water pollution .ions of the nineteenth century. Professor Jay Martin of the University of California, Irvine, will assess how well ideas have survived crises which have tested us in the present century. Robert Penn Warren, whose poems and novels ("Ail the King's Men," for example) often grapple with Goodseal Sentenced To Life In Prison WICHITA. Kan. (AP) -- lharles Goodseal of Malton, \rk., will serve a life sentence or murder to run concurrently vith a sentence of three to 10 ears for possession of a flre- rm, Sedgwick County District lourt Judge Robert Slephan uled Friday. Goodseal was convicted of irsl-degrce murder in con- leclion with the shooting death )f Airman James Warren Hunt- Â·r, who was stationed at WcConnell Air Force Base icre. Hunter's body was found n his car outside a Wichita nightclub. G o o d s e a l originally w a s charged'with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and posssesion of a firearm. His first trial resulted in conviction on the firearms charge, acquittal on the robbery charge and a hung Jury on the murder charge. A second jury then convicted .Goodseal of first-degree murder. the historical themes which a at the heart of this course, will present the final two lectures, reflecting on the record. Because "Utopia" bulks large in this course (a reflection of its importance in American history), something should oe said at this point about the word itself and the influence of the sook from which it comes. The word "Utopia" was coined in the early sixteenth century by Sir Thomas More, the brilliant lawyer-scholar- diplomat whom the R o m a n C a t h o l i c Church made saint. More was a man of lovely wit, and "utopia" is a kind a serious joke. "Utopia"" comes from the Greek word for where" or "no place," is also a pun on the word "good place." THUS MORE'S famous book "Utopia" is at once about an entirely imaginary "no place at all," a pure fantasy world, and at the same time about an ideal country, a "good place" whose mstoitis and institutions held up as models for European countries (especially Â· ' - - - Â· Â· two England) to follow. The senses of the word are Benefit Bluegrass Festival Scheduled BENTONVILLE--The third annual Our Farm benefit bluegrass music show will be held Oct. 'l-fi at the Benton County F a i r g r o u n d s Auditorium. Proceeds will go to Our Farm, Inc. of Rogers to support the home for needy youngsters. Nine bluegrass bands are scheduled to perform and an oldtime fiddler's contest will be held at 7 p.m. Friday. Further information may be obtained from Richard Paul at Â«3-5570 in Fayetleville or Leon inextricably entangled subsequent usage. "Utopia" was published 1516, twenty-four years a Columbus first sighted the Bahamas. Capitalizing on the heady excitement of the new discoveries. More situates his fictional island of Utopia in the New World and he makes his chief character, Raphael Hyth- loday, a v o y a g e r with Amerigo Vespucci. In Utopia, the "good place" that Hyth- loday discovers, private property does not exist, Vansandt field. at 151-3761 in Gar- ty and s o c i a l hierarchy a r e u n k n o w n . "Though no man has a n yt hi n g," says Hythloday, "yet all are rich." As against this, Hythlo- day denounces the social and economic injustices of England: "so help me God I can see nothing else but a kind of conspiracy of the rich" to manipulate the law in order to cheat the poor. More pointed the contrast between painful experience and hopeful possibility, and the contrast struck horn*. I 13-or MIXED HUTS MEN'S WHITE CUSHION-SOLE WORK SOCKS Reg. 3/1.84 3 PfS. Charge It at Kmart 80% pea nuts. Â·MM Soft, absorbent cotton slack socks with cushion sole let you walk In total comfort. 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