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American Ethos Essay

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Slider0917's picture
Joined: Oct 2005
American Ethos Essay

Hey I've been writing an essay for about 3 weeks now for AP American. It is about how the idea of the rugged individual is a key aspect of American culture, both past and present. If you don't know Rugged Individualism is the idea of the lone man, resisting authority with his six-shooter. So far I’ve used:

-American Revolution history (We rebelled because we didn't want to pay taxes, so we resisted British Authority)

-Herbert Hoover's "Rugged Individual speech"

-The writings of Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Samuel Adams

-Popular culture ideas (The Matrix, Top Gun, Rocky, Scare face (old and new versions), and a few miscellaneous John Wayne movies)

-TV shows (24)

So I was wondering if any of you could think of any other topics that represent the idea of Rugged Individualism in American culture. It also doesn’t have to be history, like the movies I've used.

afterthoughts's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

Would the classic image of the white-hatted cowboy facing off against the numerous black-hatted bad guys in an old western town be another idea?
Or do the John Wayne movies cover that?

You can't have an epic battle between the forces of Good and the forces of Really Nice...

silentdragonzx's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

I guess Martin Luther King Jr. can be an example...people from the Civil Rights Movement...Ghandi (but he's not in U.S Culture)..... Um...thats all I can come up with for now...Maybe Vigilantes and Bounty Hunters....radical protesters....murderers...that about sums it up for me....kindof ridiculous I have no evidence...but maybe you can waltz around it....

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