Thomas Birch's View On The American Dream

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The current world record for solving a 3x3 Rubik’s Cube is 4.59 seconds. While it is possible for people to solve them quickly, only a few can because they know the tips and tricks to the puzzle; they have the upperhand. Even though it seems easy to solve, most people try to solve it for hours, only to give up. This is similar to the American Dream, which states that through hard work, people are able to get wherever they want in life. While the Dream promotes this idea that anyone can achieve their goals, only those with the upperhand can get through all of the challenges that come with trying to reach the end goal. Only a small group of people have the skills it takes to solve the puzzle that is the American Dream. This belief can be seen…show more content…
As an immigrant, his view on the American Dream was originally an optimistic one; he believed that America was a place to start anew. His view on The American Dream, however, changed when he came to America. As he lived through the conflicts and struggles of the War of 1812 ("Thomas Birch"), Birch’s perspective on the American Dream shifted to a more realistic one. He had the revelation that while American Dream is to work hard in order to have a chance at an ideal life, people are not warned about the adversity they will face as they try to start over. As a result, the majority of people who try to achieve this goal fail and must settle for what society gives them. Birch considers The American Dream more as an illusion than a reality as only a small percentage of primarily white people achieve it. He conveys his view through his paintings that represent the challenges and consequences that come with trying to live the American…show more content…
The upper half of the painting has two aspects: the lighthouse and the sky. A lighthouse is a building whose main purpose is to guide people to land. Birch uses the lighthouse as a metaphorical beacon of light that guides people from all over to America to pursue their dreams. He uses the lighthouse as a symbol of the hope that the American Dream spreads across the globe. Just like how the light from a lighthouse attracts people to land, the basic idea of the American Dream attracts people from all over to pursue their dreams. This is significant to Birch’s view of the American Dream as many people only see what the dream has to offer. In addition to this, the pale color of the sky along with the white hue of the lighthouse convey a sense of simplicity, creating this illusion that a person can easily achieve their goals as long as they put in the work. This illusion, however, is broken by the bottom half of the painting, as it represents the harsher, more realistic view of the American Dream that Birch believed in. While the upper half of the painting suggested this sense of straightforwardness with the bright sky and the pristine lighthouse, the bottom half juxtaposes this with a small ship approaching dark waves and rocks. Just like in, “Shipwreck, 1829,” the
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