The Changing Definition of the American Dream - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This essay will begin with the statement that the definition of the “American Dream” is central to Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem, “Richard Cory,” because its speakers think that Richard Cory represents the American Dream because he is rich and cultured.  …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.5% of users find it useful
The Changing Definition of the American Dream
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The Changing Definition of the American Dream"

Journal 3: The Changing Definition of the American Dream
The definition of the “American Dream” is central to Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem, “Richard Cory,” because its speakers think that Richard Cory represents the American Dream because he is rich and cultured. However, after Cory kills himself, they begin to rethink what the American Dream truly means. I believe that they also want the readers to think about the meaning of the American Dream beyond its traditional meaning that is associated with material wealth and good breeding. My definition of the American Dream is one that is based on finding meaning in one’s life. Cory might have killed himself because he did not find his existence meaningful at all. The American Dream refers to material security, not necessarily prodigious wealth, and, more importantly, it concerns the meaningfulness that people find in their lives by having a fulfilling career and making the world a better place.
The American Dream is about material security. The traditional American Dream is home ownership and having enough material things for comfort. In the article “John Zogby: The American Dream Redefined,” John Zogby’s survey reveals that people who see the American Dream this way are called “Traditional Materialists.” Materialists believe that the American Dream “meant some form of financial success: the acquisition of goods, a bigger house, a home with a piece of land around it and so on” (Zogby). This Dream is about the attainment of material goods that affects perceptions about the quality of life.
The American Dream is not about being extremely wealthy, however, because people are already content with sufficient material security. Howard R. Gold, in “Price Tag for the American Dream: $130K a Year,” asserts that many people think that the American Dream is much simpler than being filthy rich. Thomas Hirschl, co-author of the book Chasing the American Dream and a professor at Cornell University, emphasizes that, for some of the people they interviewed, the American Dream is “not about getting rich and making a lot of money. It's about security” (Gold). It is a dream of having enough to have a good life, not necessarily an extremely wealthy one.
Finally, the American Dream represents the idea of finding meaningfulness in life through having a fulfilling career and making the world a better place. Some people think that the American Dream is about living their dreams that make them feel that life is meaningful. In an interview with comedian Jimmy Tingle, he reveals that the American Dream is doing the job he loves: “Being on stage with a microphone, I was an author, writer, inventor, and entrepreneur. To me, that’s a big part of the American Dream” (Berghaus). To feel happiness in living one’s dream is the American Dream. Others, however, believe that they must also have a contribution to the world. In a personal interview with Juan Chavez, a nineteen-year-old college student who volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, he stresses that his American Dream is helping people have better lives. He says: “My dream is helping people reach their dreams. Their happiness is my happiness.” He finds meaning in his public service and that is his American Dream. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The Changing Definition of the American Dream Essay - 1”, n.d.)
The Changing Definition of the American Dream Essay - 1. Retrieved from
(The Changing Definition of the American Dream Essay - 1)
The Changing Definition of the American Dream Essay - 1.
“The Changing Definition of the American Dream Essay - 1”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Changing Definition of the American Dream

American Dream 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...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

American Dream

...?Demise of the American Dream 7th, December, Demise of the American Dream Introduction The idea of the American dream is old and dates back to the 1600s. During this period, the founders of America had different but hopeful aspirations regarding the American continent as a whole. They started dreaming of prosperity that would lead to happiness. With time, the dream kept growing as different generations worked towards improving on the past. However, the concept of American dream became obvious in the 1930’s. The American...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

American Dream

...? of the Development of Societal Ills while chasing “The American Dream” Introduction The Americandream is a promise that everyone can attain it and it can be enjoyed by everyone across the globe. The dream has been overvalued by the Americans and other people who had led to emotionalizing the dream. By emotionalizing the dream, they have increased the enthusiasm and eagerness amongst the masses. It has been classified as the ideal goal by the media, president and influential personalities across the USA. But now days, American dream has become impossible to achieve. Currently, majority of the...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

American dream

...?Keyu Chang 16078990 0 The American Dream: Is it alive or dead 1 Introduction It is believed that America is the only country with great opportunities where any person can be successful through working hard. This is one believe that has given less privileged individuals lots of hope in the country. For this reason, so many immigrants from different parts of the world have made their way into the United States (David, 2012). However, in the recent past, the concept of American dream has been questioned a lot. This is because, the Great Recession impacted negatively on the working generations as opposed to the middle and upper class group. Most people who...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

American Dream

.... This creates a unique situation in which for the first time ever, the overall quality of life and wealth that the previous generation was able to enjoy will most likely not be reflected within their children. This relatively mundane realization helps to strike at the very core of what the American dream represents. As such, any changes with regards to the reality of the mechanisms through which individuals can better themselves and the ability of one generation to surpass the next which fundamentally impact on whether or not the American dream can be realized any further within the modern world. Another reason that hinders low and middle income...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

American dream

...The American Dream, the Puritans and the Changes So many different cultures believed that if they came to America, all their dreams would come true and all their troubles would be over. This dream didn't exist for any certain class of people, it was believed by everyone. Whether they were rich, poor or just looking for a new way of life, America was the place to go. Inexpensive land, better conditions, but most of all, for a new and better life was what led so many cultures to America. But becoming rich and having land wasn't the only reason people flocked to America. Some cultures were giving up their places of origin for religious freedom. The...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Changing American Dream

...Changing American Dream From the very beginning of American colonization period people see American continent as a special place where there is plenty of opportunity for someone to become wealthy. Today, it is possible to define American dream from different perspectives, but in general: the American dream is the idea held by people around the world who suppose that through persistence, hard work and determination they can achieve prosperity and high social status. The next change in the American dream was caused by industrial...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

American Dream

...a basis for the future generation has, however, long evoked with the dream becoming jeopardy to many people. A skeptical view of the American dream evidences that the dream may always remain tantalizing with the efforts of many people aspiring to achieve a social class, thus, enhancing discrimination against gender, race, religion, and national origin. A better understanding of how to achieve the American dream draws a significant interpretation of the term ‘Dream” to every individual. Arguably, any hope of potential change despite its magnitude describes the living dream of an...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

American Dream

...The American Dream; Miller, Arthur (1949) Death of a Salesman I would define the American dream as beliefs in freedom meant to all citizens or residents in the United States to attain their goals in their lives through hard work and get to enjoy it for the rest of their lives. It can also be described that the American dream is in reference to the idea that an individual’s prosperity is solely dependent on their abilities or hard work and not the rigid structure of classes, this meaning that been in constant change through history. It can be taken as an opportunity to acquire a prosperous life contrary to what would not have been acquire in the home countries and an opportunity for the offspring to grow with a career and education... ...
1 Pages(250 words)Coursework

American Dream

...have snatched American dream from the people. This concept was popular in America in last decades but is disappeared now due to growing inequality among the citizens (Lillie). The writer is of the opinion that theory of American dream can now be found in Canada and Europe side. Interest of Canadian people is increasing with this philosophy, and they are taking a keen interest in the social mobility to change their class and status in the society. The writer justified his point by giving an argument that Canadians don’t have to pay for medical expenses that save their huge amount. The government of Canada provides its citizens with the health facility...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The Changing Definition of the American Dream for FREE!

Contact Us