A lingering question to many of the less fortunate in America pertains to the existence of the so-called “American dream.” Does this American dream exist and is it attainable? The American dream inspires many immigrants move to America, hoping to better their lives and those of their families. However, in the novel, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich’s attempt achieve the American dream deems it not possibly attainable. Likewise, today, in the twenty-first century, the American dream is still not attainable.
The United States of America is a big, powerful and wealthy country in the world. The division of class, individuality, religion, and race are but a few of the embellishments within the society. The blend of these numerous diversities is the crucial ingredient to the modern nation. America has been formed upon them, with that said the “average American”- have a single means in common; a single concept; a single goal; the American Dream. The Dream consists of a seemingly simple theory; success.
In today’s society, the majority of people carry the belief that the dream is unattainable. However, the fact is that they are not willing to work for it, and expect “the government [to] actively work to help people achieve the American Dream,” (Source E). This flawed mindset is what makes the dream seem distant, for the American Dream is not the source of the problem. This sense of entitlement also leads to the destruction of the motivation that runs the American Dream, as well as completely warps the definition that manifests a positive image in the beneficiary’s head. The lack of entitlement enables the dream to function to the highest capacity possible, displaying how humbling oneself makes one even more capable of achieving true greatness.
Since the beginning of time in the United States, the idea of the American Dream has had a heavy influence on society. According to Document C, American Dream is defined as earning enough money to be happy, obtaining a worry-free lifestyle, and running in a high social circle. While working Americans still hold on to the hope of the American Dream, individuals from other countries often move to the United States with the hope that they too may have a piece of the pie. Despite the novelty and allure of the American Dream, it is nothing more than false hope. The American Dream is unachievable in the United States because no matter how hard one works or how hard one tries to save money, the American Dream is simply not accessible to those that begin with nothing.
Impossible Dreams The meaning of the American Dream can be seen as ”A uniquely American vision of the country consisting of three central ideas. The American dream consists of a belief in America as the new Eden- a land of beauty, bounty, and unlimited promise; a feeling of optimism, created by ever expanding opportunity; and a confidence in the triumph of the individual.” Using this definition of the so called “American dream”, it seems to be a great representation of it at first, until you realize it includes everyone as the individual. From the beginning of the Civil war to the end of the War to End All Wars, the American Dream wasn’t possible due to the treatment of the Native Americans, the inequality between women and men, and the false promises given to the immigrants coming to our country in their time of need.
The American Dream is a concept that we have created which illustrates a perfect life. Growing up, we are taught that we can be anything we dream of as long as we put our mind to it. We view ourselves and our country as the best, since we believe that we can achieve any goal with effort and perseverance. As stated in John Steinbeck’s “Paradox and Dream,” we are strong believers of our beliefs and “seem to be in a state of turmoil all the time, both physically and mentally”. We have made it appear as if the American Dream can be achieved as we are diligent, well inherited individuals that could make anything possible as long as we have the mentality and commitment to accomplish it.
The picture perfect life that the American Dream promotes is unrealistic and superficial because money is unable to fill the void of happiness or love. Contrary to earlier days, we now life in a time when even a strong work-ethic does not guarantee money, success or opportunities. While many are so ensorcelled by the illusions of the American Dream, we often fail to realize its falsity and constraints. Whether financially or socially, the society coaxes in the unsuspecting American dreamer, only to then spit them out in a wave of despair, failure and hopelessness. As demonstrated by numerous non-conformist individuals, the Dream lies not in the realm of materialism but rather in that of the intangible; often requiring an extreme leap of faith
Some people say that that people have to be born with natural talents or abilities to succeed, while others think that we have the ability to make ourselves successful with hard work. Who is right? The two authors, David Epstein and Malcolm Gladwell, take two different ideas on this subject.. Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Outliers: The Story of Success explains how he thinks that preparation and hard work is more important than talent. The author of The Sports Gene, David Epstein, he thinks that natural ability is an advantage over practice.
Despite many Americans believing that the American Dream is no longer available as there are government restrictions that limit their potential for success in any fashion, others insist that the American government provides rights for the people of America to be able to constantly achieve what they believe to be the American Dream. The American Dream is not just a dream of success but more a measurement of achievement and the ability to better one’s
No matter who you are or where you have come from, you have undoubtedly heard of the American Dream. The idea that no matter who you are or where you have come from, you can do whatever it is you desire in America. What was once one the main driving forces for immigrants to flock to the new world, has slowly changed over the years, but still holds its value in the eyes of those who are looking for a promising new place to live. The American dream might not hold the same awe inspiring sound that it once did, but for many generations before ours it was a beacon of hope that helped build the foundation that the United States was built on. And, still, today the American dream might not be as achievable as it once was, but it is still an important
Americans are people who follow the American dream, but the American dream is unachievable and has Paradoxes in it. This is proven in the articles “What is an American: a Primer” written by Peter Ferrara, “Drill, Grill and Chill” written by Maureen Dowd and John Steinbeck’s “Paradox and dream”. In Peter Ferrara’s article, titled “What is an American: a Primer” written on, September twenty-fifth two thousand and one, he claims that an American is any person who is looking for a better life for themselves and their family. Maureen Dowd takes a sarcastic approach to describing what an American is in her article “Drill, Grill and Chill”. In that article she claims that Americans do whatever necessary to maintain their way of life, while not caring
The idea of “innate talent” or being labeled as a “natural” is quite often tossed around, and has been a heavily debated topic for many years. David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, explains how two high jumpers ended up in the same world class competition even though one had over 20 years of practice and experience while the other had roughly only a year of practice. He claims that innate talent is by far more important than practice when determining one’s success. On the other hand, Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success, explains that humans themselves have more control over their success than their genes do and that this is evident especially in music. Based on the evidence provided from both Epstein and Gladwell, it is clear that Gladwell’s argument that we control most of what happens in our lives is much stronger.
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence, in founding America, laid the foundation of the American Dream with the principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Jefferson 77). Jefferson believed that life should be better and richer for every man. He did not, however, necessarily mean that money is needed for life to be “richer.” As the American economy, society and culture have advanced, the interpretation of the American Dream has changed drastically. Nowadays, the American Dream values money and materialism over happiness.
The American dream has been argued to have changed drastically over time, and even completely dissolved. Without something to believe in and strive for, living is pointless. For years the American dream has given people a goal that they wish to meet one day; but of late people have shown little to no interest in the American dream. The lack of hope in the dream has caused lessened motivation for a quality life, and promoted a way of mediocre living. I argue that media is the root of the change, along with politics.
In Gladwell’s “The Outliers,” the author suggests that the idea of a self-made person is a fantasy. Instead, he proposes the idea that external factors, as well as circumstance, are the primary contributors to success. In some cases, simple external factors such as birthdate, timing, or even plain dumb luck play a huge part in the success of an individual. In my opinion, Gladwell’s outlook on individual success is correct.