The term ‘American Dream’ was first coined by James Truslow Adams in a study called The Epic of America. The concept of it is to provide opportunity to all people according to their talents and dreams. …
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In Europe, this concept of freedom in pursuing one’s dreams could not be fruitful because of the class divisions. America being a classless society can adopt this concept of American Dream with much freedom. But, to achieve something according to one’s abilities and to gain respect irrespective of his status in society, one has to get rid of his selfish desires and should not indulge in “physical comfort and cheap amusement” (Schnell, 2010, p.3).
Achieving American Dream
To achieve a successful life is the fundamental concept of American Dream. Generally, the idea of American Dream is to get high income through a secured job and financial security. Financial success is just one part of American Dream. People also tend to achieve social status by getting membership in social clubs or by achieving the peak of one’s chosen career. Success also means attaining a position in the society where one can have the right to speak his mind, do whatever he wants to do and create a world which will be worth living for everyone. The way of achieving success can also lead to conflict in American families where children can forego the wealth and social status of their parents for the want of accomplishing more meaningful goals in life. The goal of American Dream is not to achieve millions of dollars, but for general people the focus is on attaining enough wealth to lead a decent life with dignity and self respect (Hochschild, 1996, pp.15-16). The concept of success can also be relative in nature. A person may want to lead a better life compared to his own childhood days or his neighbors, a character from a book or movie or to another gender or race. There is also a competitive nature of success wherein a person can become successful only when another person faces failure like in competitive events like beauty pageants. Most Americans feel that the future generation of their nationality can live a better standard of living and can achieve success in attaining their goals in life. In America there are many opportunities for everyone who is ready to work hard to achieve success. One definition of success can be wealth. Although money cannot buy happiness, it can nevertheless buy the things necessary to live a comfortable life (Hochschild, 1996, pp.16-19). Obstacles in achieving American Dreams Many Americans believe that it is difficult to achieve the goals that they set in their own lives. This is because they say that there is no security in their financial status and also there is lack of proper infrastructure for public education. They feel that the government who claims to help the people of the nation is actually a hindrance in the path of their achieving dreams. The African-Americans believe that the existing racial discrimination can make it difficult for them to pursue their dreams. Almost 72% of Americans believe that the government must strive to help the people in achieving their dreams of a comfortable and respectful life (Longley, 2004). In America there are various public policy tools which aim at giving the children of poor parents a chance to earn high income. Such policy tools along with the nation’s economic system are not achieving the desired results. The laws to deal with racial discrimination also do not prove to be fruitful in most cases. There are several social and economic obstacles in achieving American Dreams. The children of poor families attend inferior schools and get poor education. The children from rich families inherit more wealth and this gives them an added advantage. It is important for the future genera
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In fact, the Declaration of Independence aptly puts it that “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” 1 .
But this dream, while originally encompassed by a desire to explore, to be socially and economically free, and to have equality and freedom, has now shifted. Our American Dream now seems to be more financial, about having a house and a car, a million dollars in the bank and a good job.
There are different arguments for and against this being true, but the fact still stands that America still has a culture of discrimination and social grouping structures that are changing rapidly (Aldrich et al, 1989). There are still different socioeconomic groups that have different spheres of influence, although these are being moulded and changed by the influence of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter (Chou et al, 2009).
One of the topics elaborating on America’s failure to live its dream is poverty. This argumentative essay will base its reasons on America’s status in relation to Alexei Sherman’s novel that tells about the life of a Native Indian boy. Briefly, the novel describes life of a teenage boy born in an extremely poverty-stricken family.
It is perhaps this background that largely informed their preoccupations with the themes of upward mobility and the American Dream. Indeed, writer Lorrie Moore called Wilson’s play ‘Fences’ “an African-American Death of a Salesmen”. Additionally, writing on the notion of this dream in ‘Death of a Salesman’ it’s that it noted that, “the post-industrial capitalist boom was the dream that constituted hard work, success, money, and freedom” (Masinski, xiv).
In defining the American Dream, James Truslow Adams in 1931, he argued that life should be richer and better, and fuller for everybody, with an opportunity for each one according to capability or achievement irrespective of circumstances of birth or social class.
The story, based on Willy Loman as the main character, revolves around him to demonstrate a number of themes including the American dream. Miller majorly applies flashback to demonstrate, through Willy, the concept of the American dream and its impacts on people’s social, psychological, and economic lives.
The Great Gatsby is a story of a self-made young man, who is infuriated by the state of poverty he was living in, trying to support himself as a janitor in his college life, only to decide to leave college and join a mentor who introduces him to the ways of the rich. His need for money had become so great that he "was in the drug business".
Unfortunately, most of the Americans still strongly believe that this preposterous ambition can be achieved. Achieving the American dream undoubtedly depends on an individual’s own definition of the dream, thus, causing many varieties to choose from. John Winthrop visualized a religious paradise in a “City upon a Hill”, while Martin Luther King, Jr.