As American culture changes over the decades, so does the meaning of the American Dream. The American Dream, a term first coined in 1931 by freelance writer James Adams Truslow, was the theory that each person, regardless of their background, can work hard and get wealthy. It was a very idealistic way of thinking, but unrealistic for many due to inequality and individual aspirations. The literary works of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Luis Valdez’s “In Lak 'ech:You are my Other Me” and “Zoot Suit”, Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech “What has happened to the American Dream?” depicts how individuals from different decades in American history define the American Dream. As America evolves throughout the twentieth century, so does what people view as important, which adds on to what the American Dream means.
To start the switch in styles of Rock and Roll, the Alabama White Citizens Council came out with a pamphlet titled A Manual for Southerners . This literature acknowledged that it is the music industry that has the biggest influence on how kids present themselves from the way they dress to their mannerisms. The white, southerners who wrote this pamphlet were afraid their children would start interacting in interracial manners and wanted to protest this vulgarism by boycotting “Negro records”. (Larson page 53) This did not help in the upcoming battle towards civil rights for African Americans. Rock and Roll was one of the first medias to end segregation within itself, it brought blacks and whites together and was lead by not surprisingly the youth culture.
In the story “The Upside of Income Inequality”, Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy effectively express’s the importance and need for income inequality in our society. Furthermore, Holly Ellyatt’s newspaper article Income Inequality: Is It Good For Everyone? serves to also point out that economic success and greater productivity is linked to “income inequality”. Although it may seem extremely unfair for someone to make up to two hundred and fifty times as much money as someone else, this notion of “income inequality” actually benefits the society as a whole by encouraging others to work much harder in life and better themselves and their education. For example, the increase of income inequality in the 1980’s greatly increased the education for both women and men and other races such as African Americans.
With the dropping of the Atomic bomb that ended WWII and the beginning of the Cold War, the United states was in distress. The start of the 1950s brought about many changes to American society, from the Red Scare and threat of the possible spread of communism in America, to changes in political movements, civil rights movements, and another possible war. The political climate in the 1950s was a period when people made judgement without proof based on people’s occupations, it instilled a fear that anyone could be a communist and pushed McCarthy to find and dispose of them. Factors that influenced this political crisis and fear go back years to 1917 when communism was recognized as a political force. It was known as the last red scare.
President John F. Kennedy was very successful due to the portrayal of his family as the “typical” American family during the 1900s. Not only did he win his presidential election, but he also played a large role in the formation of the Hippie Counterculture Movement. The Hippie Counterculture was defined as a protest movement within the American youth which arose during the 1960s. Hippies, who were “the youth culture of the 60s that transformed life in the West as we knew it, introducing a spirit of freedom, of hope, of happiness, of change and of revolution” (Miles), opposed Kennedy’s view in promoting a “typical” family dinner. These young minds did not despise of the tight-bond at these family dinners, however, they did not see eye-to-eye with the foods Americans were consuming.
United States has always had a good government structural system and lead other countries in the world to do the same. Although we did have a point in time were slavery was a huge economic profit, it was not right. Just as Tocqueville stated “Thus it is in the United States that the prejudice which repels the Negroes seems to increase in proportion as they are emancipated, and inequality is sanctioned by the manners while it is effaced from the laws of the country. But if the relative position of the two races that inhabit the United States is such as I have described, why have the Americans abolished slavery in the North of the Union, why do they maintain it in the South, and why do they aggravate its hardships? The answer is easily given.
The natives were afraid of the communism being brought into their culture. Besides, “The rising popularity of Ku Klux Klan”(alpha history), which were secret group of white people who used violence to oppose the revolution to equal right, somewhat influenced many whites. Many factors at that period of time resulted in the prejudice in education and Employment to Jewish Americans. The difficult experience of the protagonist reflected the culture clash and racism in that period. The comparison between her hard-working and enthusiasm with the continuous dampening to her also strengthened the cruelty of racism to immigrants and
In the play A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry introduces a family trying to move up in the world but has trouble doing so because they are racially opposed by society. Starting in the 1890’s the Jim Crow Laws were used in the South as a way to oppose African-American giving them a status called, “separate but equal.” They mandated segregation of public schools, public transportation, public facilities including restaurants, bathrooms, and drinking fountains. In the 1950s African- Americans were starting to fight for equal rights and were starting to make headway. Some people did not like this and started to retaliate by burning down and bombing African-American houses or intimidating them by burning crosses in their yards. Finally, in
This because of the nature of civil disobedience, the protestors cannot but win, if they stay true to the process. Almost no matter what the state enforce upon the participants they will look bad doing so. The media loves these stories and people in general loves it, but before and in the midst of these public actions we find two political struggles. Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both influenced the integration of African Americans in the society. Brown v. Board of Education overturn the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, where the Supreme Court ruled in favour of stopping segregation of students in public schools.
Literature is an interesting way of viewing American society. After WWII the new American Poetry emerged, and one of the poetic movements was the Beat Generation. The Beat Generation, of which Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso were prominent members, was a group of students from Colombia University in New York City. They rejected materialism, followed Eastern spirituality like Buddhism, they were often homosexual so they stood for alternative forms of sexuality, and freedom from societal constraints. These poets went against mainstream culture, their drive was counterculture, and they believed that if there is conformity people have to be against it.