What is the American Dream? Most Americans have asked themselves that very question at some point in their lives, and American Dream essays remain a favorite topic among professors in disciplines as varied as English, philosophy, religion, or sociology. The American Dream is a recurrent topic in literature, whether featuring prominently in a story like The Great Gatsby or as a foil to the hero in a novel like Native Son. Many American Dream essays are unabashedly hopeful and proud, detailing success stories of people who achieved prosperity by following that dream. Other American Dream essays are more critical and discuss how access to the American Dream has historically been limited in the U.S. Peruse our American Dream essay examples to see the various ways that different writers have tackled this very broad topic.
he Great American Dream has undergone a massive transformation since the end of nineteenth century and the sooner we come to terms with it, the better it is for the rest of the world. he American dream was once characterized by westward expansion, 'the new world' and ideals of liberty, freedom and equality. Unfortunately all these interpretations of American dream have lost significance over the years. It is our inability to reconcile ourselves with the changing reality that has resulted in such gross judgment errors including the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the more recent Afghan and Iraq wars. As harsh as it may sound, the truth is that America is no longer the symbol of equality or freedom. he black community had realized the sad truth a long time back as Malcolm X declared in 1962: "What is looked upon as an American dream for white…… [Read More]
The Awakening" and "Thelma and Louise"
Although written and filmed a century apart, Kate Chopin's novel, "The Awakening," and the movie "Thelma and Louis" possess the same core theme of feminism at odds with the norms of society.
Chopin's character Edna, has had the social upbringing of any proper female of her day. Chopin describes her as "an American woman, with a small infusion of French which seemed to have been lost in dilution" (Chopin 9). Her marriage is social and filled with household schedules and social agendas. Edna's place is carved neatly and tightly. Her children were a responsibility that did not consume her for she "was not a mother-woman" (Chopin 19). She had never grown those protective wings that idolizing mothers grow and revere. Edna's husband, Leonce, reproaches her for her "inattention, her habitual neglect of the children" (Chopin 12). It was not as if Edna…… [Read More]
In this way the American Dream became even less accessible to poor persons, who in the past may have expected help from the more fortunate sectors of society. Instead they were forced to see the rich grow increasingly richer without any chance for access to prosperity. Unemployment and disparate income rates exacerbate the problem. hose employed in the most worthy of caring professions are often at the lowest end of the poverty scale, according to Malveaux (in Rothenberg, 2004, p. 293). She also blames the blind eye of policy makers for creating and maintaining this policy by means of elements such as welfare and minimum wage policies. In terms of employment, there is also still much discrimination against both women and black people.
Malveaux further blames both the government and society for the inaccessibility of the dream to some when citing the events of 9/11 (in Rothenberg, 2004, p. 294).…… [Read More]
When the Grapes of Wrath is compared with the other works that are discussed earlier, it is clear that this is showing the negative side of the American dream. In this situation, things did not work as planned for the Joads. Instead, they were forced to deal with these challenges and believe that things will turn around. This determination is showing how the American dream is more than just about succeeding or failing. On the contrary, it is illustrating how the personal relationships with one another and the lessons that are learned will help to make everyone successful. The key for achieving this goal is to never lose faith in each other, no matter the consequences or the outcomes. (Steinbeck, 1939)
This is different from the previous works, by highlighting the struggles and how the American dream can be realized. As the Grapes of Wrath, is discussing the…… [Read More]
Waves of immigrants -- the Irish fleeing famine, the Italians, the Germans, the Scandinavians, the Chinese -- came to America, in the hopes of beginning their own businesses, starting their own farms and making life better for their children. America seemed like a place where the past did not define one's status in the present: yet even though many of these ethnic groups made inroads into America's social fabric and prospered, they also had to struggle against racism and intolerance.
Despite the success of many poor individuals, it is important to remember that even wealthy industrialists and philanthropists like Andrew Carnegie, who made a fortune after beginning life as a poor man, often employed workers at slave wages to make tremendous profits. Even today, having social standing in America conveys undeniable advantages. The rich live in communities with better schools, have better health (and health insurance) and greater access to…… [Read More]
A solid work ethic can help stimulate creativity. ork ethic does not entail laboring for long hours in deplorable working conditions. A healthy work ethic means that Americans work hard because they love what they do and take pride in it. arshauer shows how the "get rich quick" ideal has permeated American society, replacing what was once a healthy work ethic with an unhealthy arrogance. Liu also refers to what he has perceived to be a "culture of entitlement" in which individuals feel they deserve to be rich without having to work. The American Dream was never about winning the lottery. Rather, it was about being duly rewarded for hard work. The fact that hard work can be fulfilling has been lost on the current generation, which idolizes wealth but not the creative energy needed to create and sustain it.
The new economy is changing the American Dream. Creativity and…… [Read More]
This is a lesson that many today need to learn.
This view of the American Dream can still be seen today, however, even if it requires reading between the lines. In Bruce Handy and Glynis Sweeney's graphic essay "The American Dream, Supersized," the author is struck by his daughter's field trip in a limousine to the former tenements that were the home of many immigrants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The view of the American Dream that the authors presuppose is represented by this scene is the ability to achieve luxury without really thinking about the struggle that this type of wealth entails. Yet the facetious comments that the authors "imagine" in the mouths of immigrant parents, such as "God willing, my children will go to medical school and then become rich by injecting women's faces with poison to make them look younger" and "Would that my great-grandson grows…… [Read More]
What's wrong with the American Dream?
The American Dream is primarily associated with achievement and success. According to Hochschild, achievement and success can be individually defined as it can mean something different to each person. The basic tenant, however, is the notion that hard work yields favorable results, if you play by the rules. Further, the dream can be pursued by anyone despite his or her background, culture, race or personal history (Charon & Vigilant, 2009, p. 28).
Hochschild notes that there is an inherent problem with the American Dream; namely, that everyone can equally participate and can begin again. The myth and fantasy associated with this basic tenant is something that can be desired and sought after but not achieved. The American Dream is really a notion, ideology, or philosophy for White middle class Americans. It is not equally accessible for people of color, and up until…… [Read More]
The relationship between company and worker, where the company makes an investment in the employee through training, stock options, a structured retirement and benefits plan, etcetera, is no longer the norm today. Furthermore, although in other countries, health insurance, a livable pension plan, and other benefits like daycare for children, are not necessarily tied to private employment, these necessities for survival are in America. To be unemployed or underemployed means living in a state of continual anxiety about caring for one's self and for one's dependants. This drives many workers to look for unhelpful assistance from paid personal consultants and headhunters, who administer unhelpful personality tests rather than make a real effort to seek employment for their clients.
Besides the problems inherent to the way that American government and corporate America are structured is the problem that there simply are fewer and fewer jobs for college-educated job seekers and more…… [Read More]
American Dream in the context of Gus Van Sant's 1997 film "Good Will Hunting"
There has been much controversy with regard to the American Dream during recent years, as people appear to be more and more hesitant about accepting the fact that it exists. "Good Will Hunting" stands as a perfect example concerning a person who feels fed up with promises associated with living the American Dream and simply wants to live life the ways that he feels is best. While the film also emphasizes how a person can fail in taking advantage of the opportunity to live the 'American Dream', it also makes it possible for viewers to understand that people should actually focus on appreciating things that actually matter instead of being obsessed with the material aspect of the dream.
The protagonist's name, Will, is basically meant to emphasize his main problem -- his lack of will. "He…… [Read More]
Consumerism: The Fallacy of the American Dream
The American Dream is really money." Jill Robinson, an American novelist, cuts to the chase when she pinpoints the materialist nature of the American Dream. Usually cloaked with images of a leisurely retirement, the American Dream is fundamentally a struggle to keep up with the Joneses and to reassure our children that they will not have to work as hard as we did. The American Dream entails sacrificing the present for the future, saving and scrimping in order to play golf in Boca. Once upon a time, middle class Americans felt proud of pursuing the American Dream because it was the norm: everyone had ideals of suburban life with the white picket fence and a golden retriever. Now, Americans are jaded and cynical. We continue to climb corporate steps and work fifteen-hour days so that we can make the payments on the SUV.…… [Read More]
The social immobility
The American Dream is not what it appears to be. The American Dream as defined by James Truslow Adams in his book, The Epic of America, is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." (Truslow 214-215). Although Mr.…… [Read More]
American Dream" Deadline: May 3rd, 2013 Intro: "In United States, major ideology American Dream, suggests equality opportunity exists positions social class structure a reflection deserve.
The American Dream is generally regarded as a set of privileges that an individual living in the U.S. would have access to freedoms providing him or her with the chance to become prosperous and to be happy in general. The basic idea of the American Dream started as a result of people acknowledging that as long as an individual was free, he or she could achieve his or her goals as long as he or she is willing to work in order for them in a relatively short period of time. Even with the fact that the U.S. is presently one of the most developed countries and that American cities have access to a wide range of privileges, the American Dream has become less accessible…… [Read More]
Moreover this lends him inimitability, it lends him importance, and it gives him honor. Like each one among us ranging from the first note to the last note in the entire octave of music on the keyboard of God is important since every man is created in the image of God. (A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.)
The Declaration of Independence' might be the indenture of the American Dream, however within the complex text and the present reality remains numerous alterations on the quest of happiness: eunum, pluribus. Nevertheless, it is also a fact that within all chances, as dappled as any American citizen who has ever led his life, remain the fundamental categories of dreams that leans on notions whose significance both exceeds a specific perspective and gets a meaning by that perspective. The Puritans dream is that of freedom;…… [Read More]
American Dream' is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with the opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position. (What is the American Dream, Pg. 1)
The preceding quote was written by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book, Epic of America. It is believed that this was the first time the term "American Dream"…… [Read More]
The enormous number of questions did not only succeed in bringing people to physical exhaustion, but they also confused people to the level where they could no longer think logically and risked being deported, even though they were not attempting to deceit the American system.
Most contemporary people express their liberal opinions regarding immigrants in the U.S.T.C. Boyle's Tortilla Curtain goes at proving how while some have apparently changed their discriminatory principles, they tend to act against their reasoning when encountering a difficult situation. Delaney claims to be a freedom promoter, and one who cannot accept racist theories. Matters seem to have changed significantly ever since the times when squatters robbed Californian dons of their lands and Chinese immigrants were considered to be different from immigrants of other nationalities.
In Candido's opinion, Delaney lives the perfect life, being a legal U.S. citizen, owning a house in a good neighborhood, and…… [Read More]
The Grapes of rath" novel written by John Steinbeck portrays the Joad family as it tries to cope with all the difficulties that migrant laborers had suffered during the Great Depression. Across the novel, readers are presented with the 1930 farmers that, in search of the American dream, find themselves trapped into a world in which the wealthy are willing to exploit the working-classes to the maximum, regardless of the fact that farmers are malnourished.
In the beginning of the book, Steinbeck presents the situation by describing the farm crops in Oklahoma having been devastated by a recent dust storm. At first Steinbeck refrains from presenting any characters as he intends to let the readers in on the topic.
Tom Joad, a young man who has just been released from prison, tells the story of how he had been imprisoned to a truck driver. During the story, Steinbeck takes advantage…… [Read More]
Fitzerald reveals to the reader that happiness is not a thing, which you can buy with money or handpick with power. His fulfillment of the requirements oh the "Dream" has come to such a point that between the lines the reader sees how desperate he is. So what is the American Dream that is criticized in the definition of Scott Fitzgerald? It is successful life and work through which people obtain the material acknowledgement of their success and become happy when they do. The problem is that having the person you "love" also start being a "material acknowledgement," too. The essence of the book is that when the moral principles are low, people choose any means for achieving success and people are interested only in the result. The real understanding of the "American dream" is lost by the characters in this book and by this Fitzerald shows that there is…… [Read More]
American Dream understood 1960's/1970's
16, Kennedy delivered a landmark speech at the University of Washington campus in Seattle: "We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we are only 6% of the world's population, that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94% of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem" (http://content.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1635958_1635999_1634954,00.html #ixzz2g57wnLby).It was the early sixties and the American Dream was being questioned, revised, reiterated, reinforced and, most importantly, completed with responses to matters the Americans and the rest of the world were confronted with. he Cold War, the War in Korea, the U.S. relations with Cuba, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Rights Movement, the understanding and revision of authority from all standpoints, the challenging of conservative views on human sexuality and the…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby -- the American Dream
The Great Gatsby is a novel that uses the theme of the American Dream in a number of ways, and it is not a stretch to explain that F. Scott Fitzgerald was showing the dark side of the elusive American Dream. The themes used in The Great Gatsby revolve around those issues in the Roaring Twenties that were linked to the newly wealthy people; and Fitzgerald uses those themes to present the flaws in the American Dream. This paper points to some of those passages in the novel that relate to the American Dream.
The Great Gatsby's American Dream Themes
Tanfer Emin Tunc presents an essay in the book appropriated titled The American Dream in which he points to how the concept of the American Dream is woven into Fitzgerald's novel. Fitzgerald uses the protagonist Jay Gatsby to "…exemplify the rise and fall of…… [Read More]
And with money, transgender persons can buy all their needs and get a surgery to change their biological sex organs. ith money, one can buy a place where one can feel safe and comfortable. So, the American Dream is achievable but if only you have the required amount of money for whatever you want to be.
That statement is also subject to contention. hether transgender persons can be considered fully-fledged citizens in America is a debatable question. As Hanna Rosin explains in her article about the lives of transgender children, overcoming the difficulty of being a transgender person in America is extremely difficult. Discussing some older transgender persons, Rosin writes: "transgender men and women in their 50s and 60s described lives of heartache and rejection: years of hiding makeup under the mattress, estranged parents, suicide attempts" (Rosin). She also discusses a an endocrinologist who had "seen patients rejected by families,…… [Read More]
The harsh realities and poverty faced by most Americans today resulted to the loss of meaning of the American Dream, since its gradual disintegration as a concept is yet to be determined (Jonsson, 2002). Most people are skeptical about their future lives, an attitude that serves as a detriment for people to once more, aspire to achieve the American Dream.
The American Dream still exists, although faith in it has gradually died down. Florida (2003) gives important emphasis to bringing back the attitude of hopefulness and contentment in life, since if looked at relatively, American life is still much better than those from other countries.
This comparison motivates people to pursue their dreams and try to eradicate from their thoughts the persistence of "spiritual poverty," a term coined by Schwartz (2000), which identified Americans (and people in general) as having greater dissatisfaction in life than those who lived years and…… [Read More]
hile the family does move anyway, they are changed. alter learns that he cannot trust everyone and every fly-by-night idea is probably just a fraud. Curing the sick was the most important thing to Beneatha before alter lost the money. After the incident, she does not seem to care as much and she tells him, curing the sick is "not close enough to what ails mankind" (Hansberry 2254). Losing the money opened her eyes to how cruel people can be and forces her to rethink her priorities. alter has matured because of his mistake and has not allowed it to ruin the rest of his life. His deal with illy opens his eyes to the fact that while people are dreaming, there are "takers out there operating, just taking and taking" (2258). He realizes that he must not only work to achieve his dream, he must also work not to…… [Read More]
Politics at the Movies—Changing Visions of the American Dream
The so-called “American Dream” has changed in fundamental ways over the years, beginning with a modest vision for a steady job with a living wage, a little house with a white picket fence, a decent car, a happy marriage and good kids who did not use drugs. Over the years, though, this modest vision transformed into far greater aspirations, including a large salary, a big house in the suburbs, a trophy wife (for men) and children who excelled in academics and extracurricular activities, among countless other things. Today, however, more and more Americans are realizing that this type of vision is not achievable for them, and perhaps not their children as well due to major economic and social changes. The purpose of this paper provide a discussion concerning the concept of the “American Dream,” including its basic definition, the origins of…… [Read More]
The Façade of the American Dream is the main theme of Ta-Nahesi Coates Between The World And Me, as is made clear through the struggles the main character faces in the book
For all Papers 1 and 3 in the course, you will need to include and engage with 2-3 additional sources that you locate on your own through critical news media (not blogs), as these are more cultural studies papers,. But be sure that you're using the primary text as your main focus, and the cultural/social issues and sources to back up your thesis about the primary text! This is a literature course, after all.
Choose one (or more, but ideally one) of the primary texts we’ve read thus far—due to this, I imagine most papers will be on Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. You will need to include and engage with 2-3 additional sources…… [Read More]
American Dream" in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" with References to Mark Twain and Henry Thoreau
Arthur Miller's play entitled "Death of a Salesman" is a story about a man who has created a conflict with his family because of his great belief in the American Dream. Willy Loman, the main character in the story, makes a living by being a salesman, and the story revolves around his frustrations in life, particularly the strain in his relationship with his eldest son, iff Loman. Willy's frustrations stems from the fact that iff was not able to have a permanent and stable job, and is often fired from work because of some petty offense or misconduct on his son's part. Willy always insist that his son iff must develop relations with other people, and he must also have charisma and the ability to interact with them in order to achieve prosperity…… [Read More]
American Dreams by H.. Brands
American Dreams chronicles the history of the United States after the defeat of the Axis powers until the present day. After orld ar II, America emerged as the major world power. It had an atomic capacity and had been less scarred, economically and politically, than Europe. How America managed this new role and how Americans' self-perceptions of themselves have changed over the subsequent decades is the subject of H.. Brand's brief social history.
The book is organized into three sections. The first section, called Visions of Omnipotence (1945-1965), details the heady postwar time when America was first beginning to establish its authority in the world. It played a critical role in revitalizing the fortunes of Europe through the Marshall Plan and contained communism through the establishment of NATO and the Berlin airlift. This was also the era of the Korean ar, the Bay of Pigs,…… [Read More]
Economics and Global Capitalism
The American Dream has always been tied to homeownership, yet homeownership has always been a prospect made possible through long-term loans made to credit-worthy applicants. For Main Street, this was mainly the case at least since the Baby Boomers came to age. For subsequent generations, predatory lending came about as the monetization of debt became another way for Wall Street to make money off Main Street. The American Dream prior to this was connected to the concept of upward mobility, but this too has been linked to the prospect of homeownership. Essentially, the American Dream has always been a dream about ownership of assets, of being at the minimum part of the middle class—a status that anyone could achieve in America so long as he was willing to work hard. Today, with globalization and the offshoring of manufacturing, the blowing of credit bubbles, the devaluation of…… [Read More]
America: A nation of paradoxes
America is a nation of paradoxes. On one hand, it is a nation that has symbolized freedom to many immigrants, as poignantly illustrated in Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus," a poem included on the famed Statue of Liberty that greeted so many refugees as they strove to escape from Europe and avoid intolerable situations. The Lazarus poem proclaims the dawning a new America, free of class restrictions, which can offer prosperity even to the poorest new arrival. Yet federal policies in regards to African-Americans and Native Americans have been marked by injustice and prejudice. The American Dream of egalitarianism exists next to an ugly strain of racism that has run through the thread of American history since its inception.
Emma Lazarus' poem is perhaps the most explicit, famous rendition of the American dream: "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp... / Give me your tired,…… [Read More]
My heart was always full of things I wanted to say -- questions that needed answering, or opinions bubbling beneath the surface, but I no longer had words to say them. I had lost my old world, but could not gain my footing in my new land.
How I longed to be normal -- a normal Korean or a normal American, I did not care. But I knew that I was neither. My family history had aged me far beyond my years, although I had only a child's vocabulary in English. I could not go back, as my American experience soon made me different from my fellow Koreans. But my assimilation into America was imperfect. I chuckled at Gary Soto's essay "Looking for ork," about how he wished to make his American family act like the perfect families on TV, like Father Knows Best. It is hard to imagine one's…… [Read More]
Here we see that Laura is coming around and realizing that she, broken or not, is just like everyone else. Furthermore, the odd horn that made the unicorn seem "freakish" (1018) is no longer an issue. hen Laura realizes this, she also realizes that the things that make her seem like a freak to others may not be so significant, either. The time she spent with Jim allowed her to see that what makes her different might not be such a bad thing after all. She even tells Jim that with a broken horn, the unicorn "will feel more at home with the other horses" (1018). This statement reinforces Laura's change.
The broken unicorn also symbolizes how Laura must deal with the possibility of remaining single. The broken unicorn could very well be her broken heart. These things break, and when they do, they are rarely the same again. However,…… [Read More]
Defining the American Dream
People have talked about a concept called the American Dream for many years, but the definition is difficult to pin down. The reason for this is that as the situations in the country change, so does the view people have of what the American Dream represents. The purpose of this paper is to define what the American Dream is from history, the generally accepted meaning of the term, and how that definition may have changed over the past couple of years.
History shows that the concept of the American Dream began with the "discovery" of the Americas. hether the explorer was Leif Erickson or Christopher Columbus, all of the people who have come to these shores have dreamed of something better. As a matter of fact;
"The idea of an American Dream is older than the United States, dating back to the 1600s, when…… [Read More]
American Dream alive and well?
hile the American Dream has been one of the most intriguing concepts in U.S. history, it has gradually come to be more and more difficult to access. Many people in the present actually have problems determining whether or not it still exists and this amplifies the problem. hile most would prefer to believe that the American Dream never left and that anyone has the chance to make it in the American society, the reality is that there are a lot of interfering factors that make it difficult for people to achieve their goals in spite of the fact that they go through great trouble with the purpose of doing so.
Social class represents an important factor in the contemporary society and the American Dream has come to be closely connected to it during recent decades. The reality is that governments have the tendency to provide…… [Read More]
Opportunity and the American Dream
In spite of what Adams said, the American Dream still depends a great deal on birth or position. As Reifenberg and LeBlanc note, it all depends on one’s opportunity: a “general lack of opportunity affects the ability of the less welloff to live up to their full potential. Often disadvantaged for reasons beyond their control, they are forced to live life dreaming of what might have been had the circumstance of their birth been different” (445). In other words, unless one is born into the right circumstances, the right family, or the right environment, the so-called American Dream is unlikely to become a reality. Someone born in the urban part of America, in a poor family or in a poor community, is not going to have the same opportunity to achieve the American Dream as someone who is born the son of a wealthy businessman…… [Read More]
If the American dream is real to someone, it is real; land and products can be bought and sold as a consequence.
Obviously, for the dream of a better life to be sold to anyone it needs to be established that their current existence is less than attractive. This is why water is diverted away from a city in desperate need of water: the citizens need to be convinced that what they need is somewhere else. Furthermore, all of the town's undesirables are lumped into the center of the city, where they are most visible and most difficult to avoid. Poor minorities, essentially, are caught within the low income housing projects in the inner city. This is why Chinatown is unattractive to white, affluent citizens. Racism is as much of an impetus to leave the city as the stifling drought. The organizational structures in place demand that the Chinese live…… [Read More]
The second issue is the economic disparity between men and women, and the differences in their earning capabilities. Not only are women more likely to be single parents, they are also less likely to be given jobs then men, and are also apt to earn less at these jobs. The fact that even full-time employment in many cases did not provide enough of a living to support a family is a key indicator that something is wrong with society. Welfare is an attempt to address this problem, and even it falls short. This also leads to a feeling of injustice which is definitely felt by many on welfare, and is used to justify continuing payments by certain individuals DeParle mentions. In general, however, the families he depicts are struggling against external practical constraints and the inner struggle and strained energy reserves that this causes, with very real inhibitive effects on…… [Read More]
Resurrection of the American Dream
The American Dream is a concept that has been a part of American culture for many decades. The American Dream is a deeply held conviction that an individual can reach his or her fullest potential if they apply themselves appropriately. This concept is built on the idea that there are no limiting conditions that can keep someone from fulfilling their potential such as age, race, sex, disabilities, or other factors that are beyond an individual's control. The idea is centered on the concept that there exists the opportunity for social mobility that can be achieved through the application of one's efforts.
Through hard work and determination an American has the potential to improve their circumstances at all times. However, the vitality of the American Dream has been compromised in recent decades with many macroeconomic developments that have negatively impacted the economic opportunities for Americans. Furthermore,…… [Read More]
"(Miller, 96) However, even if it can appear that illy's death is a further failure and humiliation, Happy points out at his funeral that Loman had the braveness to pursue his dream to the end, despite the fact that he did not succeed: "I'm gonna show you and everybody else that illy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. it's the only dream you can have - to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I'm gonna win it for him."(Miller, 111) the promise that Happy makes to follow his father's dream and accomplish it for him is again ironic however. Miller points thus to the perpetuation of the American Dream in society, and hints at its probable permanence.
Thus, Miller's play is one of the most 'American' productions as it points to the conflictive relationship established between the American…… [Read More]
Definition of Concept/Theory: The American Dream is one of the most pervasive elements of American consciousness and identity. It is the cornerstone of the myth of meritocracy in America, as the American Dream suggests that anyone can achieve upward social mobility simply by working hard. The American Dream is one of the chief motivating factors for foreign immigrants, who flee war-torn, poor, or otherwise problematic places abroad to seek asylum and opportunity. Although the American Dream has come true for many Americans, including immigrants, the achievement of upward social mobility and integration with the dominant culture in America remains elusive. The American Dream is more a myth than a dream.
Example 1: Drash, W., Basu, M. & Watkins, T. (2013). Boston suspects: Immigrant dream to American nightmare. CNN. 20 April, 2013. etrieved online: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/19/us/Massachusetts-bombers-profiles/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
This article is about the suspects in the Boston marathon terrorist attacks. The article focuses…… [Read More]
Paine is broken and reveals the entire scheme.
Similarly, Dumbo suggests that a belief in one's self can accomplish anything, even in the face of the most seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Dumbo is the story of an elephant with enormous ears. Dumbo is a freak and the mockery of the circus. His mother is taken away after she tries to protect him. The circus is a cruel and judgmental environment that put animals on display for the public's entertainment. However, Dumbo proves that with gumption, unrecognized talents can be honored. This is was typical of the Disney style -- much like during the Great Depression, the third little pig was celebrated as someone who "exhibits old-fashioned virtues, hard work, self-reliance, self-denial" (Sklar 204). The social prejudice that hurts Dumbo does not have to be cured; he merely needs to try harder to use his disability in service of society.
These films…… [Read More]
American dreams can sometimes be just a pipe dream as many new articles showcase the bad side of dreaming. In one article, "Poll: hites and Republicans Rank as Angriest Americans" by Rafferty, hite Republican Americans have shown the most anger at the current state of America. Polls recently released information showing whites in America are the angriest because 54% of the white American population have grown more outraged in the last few years. Latinos come in second 43% and African-Americans third at 33%. Another poll revealed 73% of whites feel anger at least once each day in comparison to the 66% of Latinos and the 56% of American blacks.
The topics they feel the angriest of are consumer fraud and congressional dysfunction. Overall, there is a growing sentiment that the American dream is no longer possible. "52% of the country said the idea of the "American dream" no longer holds…… [Read More]
As we have already mentioned, the mood and tone for moral corruption in New York City was prime in the 1920s and while it may seem there are the rich and the poor, class distinction among the rich plays an important role in the novel. Gatsby's success will only carry him so far because of a dividing line that exists between the new wealth and the old wealth. This is best depicted with the est and East Egg sections that divide individuals according to their wealth. Gatsby, regardless of how much money he makes, cannot hold a candle to the old wealth of the community in which Tom and Daisy live. Tom comes from an "enormously wealthy" (6) family and when he moved to the rich East Egg, he "brought down a string of ponies from Lake Forest" (6). The Buchanan's home is "more elaborate" (7) than what our narrator…… [Read More]
The American dream is something people in the United States and the world over, have strived for throughout the years. From the first immigrants of Western Europe to the new immigrants of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, many came to this country in pursuit of freedom a chance at upward mobility. This American Dream essay example will focus on the ways Americans have in the past and present, attempted to achieve a life of happiness and fulfilment in the United States.
Pursuit of the American Dream
To be or not to be: The American Dream
A chance at Upward Mobility: The American Dream
The Modern Day American Dream
Why Do People Pursue the Elusive American Dream?
How to resurrect the American Dream
The Ideals Behind the American Dream
A. The History Behind the American Dream
B. The Modern Day American Dream…… [Read More]
Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, and "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts" by Maxine Hong Kingston. Specifically, it will discuss conflict between generations and the "American Dream" in the two works. Both of these works clearly show the conflict between generations that often results from differing views of the "American Dream," the dream that is so elusive to so many of us.
Author Kingston's story is fact, rather than fiction, but the generational differences between her and her mother are still apparent. She remembers, "We'd have to face four- and five-day-old leftovers until we ate it all. The squid eye would keep appearing at breakfast and dinner until eaten. Sometimes brown masses sat on every dish. I have seen revulsion on the faces of visitors who've caught us at meals" Kingston 108). Her life is far different from her mother's, and she is firmly entrenched…… [Read More]
He blames his father his personal failure because he, "blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That's whose fault it is!" (1108). illy's failure extends beyond the workplace and spills over into his family life. This should come as no surprise since the two are closely connected when we think of the American Dream.
illy does not want to change and this proves to be detrimental to his job, his life, and his family. At the age of 63, illy decides not to think about change or failure. It is easier to find excuses. For example, he tells Linda, "The trouble was that three of the stores were half-closed for inventory in Boston. Otherwise, I woulda broke records" (Miller 1046). He admits "people don't seem to take to me" (1047) and he is often overlooked and "not noticed" (1047) at work. He…… [Read More]
In fact, other than her beauty and her high class status, it is hard to see why Gatsby loves her so much. But Daisy's materialism, for Gatsby, is not a negative quality. "Her voice is full of money," he says (94). This indicates that Gatsby sees Daisy's obsession with wealth as a good thing, a kind of a way to egg him on to make something of his life. Daisy is Nick Caraway's second cousin but unlike Nick, she is obsessed with money to the point that she ignores human feelings. hen Gatsby left to go to war, she ended their relationship. Tom Buchanan at the time was much more financially stable than Gatsby, and even though Tom strikes almost everyone who comes in contact with him as a rich, superficial person, Daisy loved Tom's money.
Daisy has aspirations to be loved and appreciated, of course, but between love and…… [Read More]
Great Gatsby and the American Dream
In many ways, the first portions of the biography of Jay Gatsby embodies the American Dream: Jay Gatsby was born to unspeakable poverty and was able to climb out of it through hard work, discipline and dogged determination. This was at least how it appeared in the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. However, over the course of the book Fitzgerald demonstrates that the American dream is actually far more elusive and far darker than most actually realize.
Consider the exchange that the narrator, Nick Carraway has with Gatsby's father, once Gatsby has been killed. The father has found a schedule that his son wrote out for himself back when he was boy, and the schedule dictates a strict hourly routine of how the young man would divide his time each day: from the moment he rose from bed, to the dumbbell exercises he would…… [Read More]
Sissy Eng stands out in direct contrast to her younger brother, having fully embraced the American Dream by marrying a white husband -- one who interestingly exoticizes Chinese people and culture -- and capitalizing on her Chinese heritage through the publication and sale of a cookbook, in which she takes enormous pride and pleasure. She, like her father though in a less subservient manner, fully caters to the American expectation of her Chinese identity, and uses it to make her own version of the American Dream. She is quite successful at this as well, and is entirely happy with the life she has created for herself as a staunch Chinese-American. Sissy does not exhibit any sense of guilt or conflict for having "sold-out," but rather accepts the largely artificial identity of her mixed culture or nationality as her natural place in the American systems of thinking and success.
Fred Eng…… [Read More]
The proliferation of the internet has threatened to undermine the capacity of real estate agents and brokers to control the dissemination of information in the real estate market. Prior to the inception of the internet and the adoption of its use by the real estate industry, details relative to real property was largely within the exclusive province of the agents and brokers. Multiple listing services, property transfer information, existing liens and mortgages, etc. were, until the proliferation of the internet difficult, if not impossible, for potential buyers to obtain. The internet changed all that but many real estate professionals have attempted to hold on to their control of such information which has precipitated considerable litigation (Darlin). The battle that is raging is between a real estate industry attempting to remain competitive in the market place and consumers demanding more autonomy and more information.
B. Marketing and Customer Demand
There is…… [Read More]
Distortions of the American Dream: The Effects of Materialism in Day of the Locust and the Great Gatsby
In both The Day of the Locust and The Great Gatsby, pursuit for the superficial and material in the world has become their driving focus, blurring the line between right and wrong. In this paper we will look at how materialism affects both Jay Gatsby and Tod Hackett.
We can see what direction the main protagonist in Day of the Locust, Tod Hackett, will go, just by looking at the word "hack" in his name. While in school he has decided to pursue the field of commercial illustration instead of pursuing the more rigorous field of painting art for arts' sake. His friends warn him that he is selling out. Tod has taken the possibility of a great education at Yale and has decided to help create superficial images of things that…… [Read More]
And so America continues to search subconsciously for ways back, for snorkels to lower to those buried souls. Consider the resurgence of magical literature in America over the last decade and a half. Never since Tolkien has the fantasy genre -- the Twilight books and the wealth of vampire chronicles accompanying for example -- been so widely successful. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels are a recent manifestation of that search for snorkels. What could be more escapist than to imagine being a wizard estranged and insulated from his magical heritage and forced into the mundane -- muggle -- world? As Shoeless Joe was to Ray Kinsella, as writing was to W.P. Kinsella, so has Harry Potter been to a recent generation of Americans. Harry Potter is a mythological symbol of the type Campbell knows has been lost to the detriment of the people. He is the truth Americans wish they…… [Read More]
Disillusionment and the Harlem enaissance and Post-Modernism
Distortion of the American Dream
The American dream has been as old as the American constitution. From the text, there is a highlight of the American dream and its distortion over years. It is presented as an old dream, which is as old as the Constitution of the United States of America. According to the text, those who framed the American dream were engaged the country in a state where everyone will gain the good as from working hard. Through working hard, people will be able to make it possible to attain different levels of their fulfillments. Nonetheless, today many things have changed with the changes in time (Hemingway, 2013). With the aspects of capitalism and materialism taking root in every society, the dream has been distorted. The possible supports for a statement that many of the people live within their required states…… [Read More]
Exchange at the End of Act Two:
THE WOMAN: I just hope there's nobody in the hall. That's all I hope. To Biff: Are you football or baseball?
THE WOMAN: (angry, humiliated) That's me too. G'night.
Both Biff and Happy are shown throughout the course of Death of a Salesman to have a very careless attitude in regards to how they treat women. They treat women like conquests, not as human beings. In a flashback sequence, Linda complains that mothers have informed her that they are worried that Biff is rough with girls; Happy has slept with a number of the girlfriends and fiancees of the superiors at his place of employment. He does so not because he is in love with these women but as a passive-aggressive way of getting back at the people who tell him what to do on a daily basis at work.
In…… [Read More]
As Margaret Atwood points out, Americans have as much to be ashamed of as to be proud of.
When Barbara Kingsolver claims "The values we fought for and won there are best understood, I think, by oil companies," she refers to the way the American flag has been distorted. The issues the flag symbolizes, such as freedom and liberty, are myths for many people. As Kingsolver points out, the American flag has been used to justify many evils including wars like Vietnam and Iraq. Instead of delivering true freedom, liberty, and democracy, the American flag really brought economic dependence. Instead of associating the American flag with negativity, death, and intimidation, Kingsolver suggests that Americans reclaim it. The red stripes do not need to symbolize war. They can also symbolize "blood donated to the ed Cross."
The American flag is a flexible symbol that is often used in ways that manipulate…… [Read More]
Marx's interpretation of Twentieth-Century Capitalism, as described by Miller, describes the changes in the American dream. The American dream was initially one linked to the idea of land ownership. Immigrants came from Europe, where land ownership had been a privilege of the wealthy. However, when America was relatively unsettled, almost anyone could theoretically come to America and claim land, and many people did just that. Of course, some of these early Americans did so in a grand way, traveling westward from the cities and establishing homesteads in the wilderness. The idea of home ownership, however, was not limited to those frontiersmen. Instead, only 100 years ago, someone could come to America and, because of the cheap price of land, afford to build his own home if he worked hard enough to do so. However, the nature of the home, itself, was different. Those homes were centers of production: at the…… [Read More]
Where Problems Begin
The emphasis on funding and innovation that drove the advance of the American economy throughout much of the twentieth century was without a doubt a major part of the nation's success (Lemoncik 2006). This is not where today's issues of the internal crumbling of American society has its origins, however, and in fact the facade of great wealth, opportunity, and success that the United States still puts forward as the "American Dream" is a direct lie in many areas. n order to find the roots of the problem, one must look to earlier developments and trends in society and in the manner in which the government codifies this society.
t is the failure of the educational system and a lack of support for the middle and lower classes in terms of social justice and ensuring equal access to the power structures and opportunities in the nation that…… [Read More]
American National Character (history)
The Ongoing Search for an "American National Character"
This assignment asks the following pertinent and challenging questions: Is it possible to find trends amongst so much diversity? What characteristics are distinctly American, regardless of class, race, and background? What is problematic about making these generalizations and inheriting the culture? What have we inherited exactly? What problems arise with our ideals - and are we being honest with ourselves? Discuss individualism and the "American Dream." Are these goals realized and are they realistic? This paper seeks solid answers to these often elusive questions.
The search for a national character should be never-ending, and the pivotal part of the search that should be enlightening and enriching for the seeker of that knowledge may just be the inspiration from the books and authors springing into the seeker's mind along the way to discovery.
Who is presently engaged in a…… [Read More]
Thus, a couple -- Tom and Betsy ath -- are stuck in the middle trying to find real meaning in it. Living in suburban Connecticut, their three children are addicted to TV and show no real interest in the life around them. Tom is the epitome of the discontented businessman, who is forced to work to pay for the new middle class suburban life. Despite his hard work, he finds it hard to pay for his life, a staunch contrast to the free living seen in the Seven-Year Itch. Betty's acceptance of Tom's affairs, which shows the passive and supportive role of the wife in the 1950s no matter what the husband is to do -- he is her life support, for she is a stay at home wife. In the end -- the money isn't worth the tension it causes at home. Thus, the film is a testament to…… [Read More]
American Investment ecovery Act
Throughout American history there has been an emphasis on maintaining a balance of power between different branches of government. This is from the belief that concentrating too much authority in one area will lead to inevitable abuses in others. To prevent this, the federal government and states have always practiced these basic principles. As a result, there are varying interpretations as to the overall scope of power given to particular branch. (McNeese, 2001)
In 2009, these issues were continually being brought to forefront with the American ecovery Act and einvestment Act of 2009. This law was designed to provide the economy with additional amounts of stimulus to address the lingering challenges from the financial crisis. However, the process of enacting this legislation, there were increased amounts of controversy surrounding the balance of power between the President and Congress. This is because the Democrats had an overwhelming…… [Read More]
The development of the American automobile industry is one of the best examples of this interplay: "Unlike European manufacturers, who concentrated on expensive motorcars for the rich, American entrepreneurs early turned to economical vehicles that could be mass-produced," (Jackson 159). The fact that so many Americans then became capable of purchasing a car both fed the notion of the American dream, and also served to expand American cities and suburbs; people who could afford to commute were not forced to live in the stifling and often impoverished inner-city. This trend tended to make inner cities in America decreasingly desirable places to live. Yet, in places like New York, with the creation of central park, wealthy neighborhoods came to crowd around such desirable locations and push the impoverished sects of society away: "By the time the park's founding generation passed away, the political, aesthetic, and cultural unity they valued had already…… [Read More]