Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Francis M. Hurst
William Hertzog Thompson
William E. Jaynes
Traditionally, our nation has been one in which individual effort and enterprise are rewarded. Our “log cabin” heroes, our “Horatio Alger” stories, are a reflection of a cultural tradition of interdependence and self-reliance which we cherish. Most of us fondly recall the story of the little train engine who said, “I think I can, I think I can,” and managed to puff over the hill.1 This little train showed self-reliance and independence in reaching his goal. By contrast, a recent children’s book tells about a little locomotive who goes to school to learn to be a big locomotive and strives to learn perfectly all his lessons, especially the importance of staying on the track at all times.2 when he gets off the track and goes daisy picking in the meadow, all the people in the village get out and wave red flags to get him back on the track. This little locomotive succeeded by being obedient and conforming to what was expected of him. The fundamental difference in the degree of self-reliance shown in these two stories is evident.
Bohrer, Roxilu Kelton, "A content analysis of self-reliance or dependence in a sixth grade reading text-book" (1962). Student Work. 321.
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