I Hear America Singing: The American Dream

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The American Dream is the ideal way to live in the United States. It sets a high expectation on life in America. Additionally, it compels foreigners to move to the United States because they strive for the perfect life that everyone seems to have there. But what exactly defines this “ideal” way to live? Some argue that the American Dream has shifted from the pursuit of freedom to be an individual to the pursuit of wealth and success. Although it may seem that the American Dream has changed its sole focus to the pursuit of wealth and success, the American Dream is, in fact, both the pursuit of freedom as well as success because they lead into each other. Firstly, the American Dream is not solely about money because having wealth and success…show more content…
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do” (Source #4). This implies that one does not find happiness with wealth, but rather with the freedom to do what one enjoys. Americans, like Steve Jobs, strive for contentment which is achieved through freedom. Therefore, since the American Dream is the ideal way to live, money is not the only factor involved. Most people are more content with freedom than with being rich. In Walt Whitman’s poem, “I Hear America Singing” (Source #2), he heard “America singing” and listed different types of Americans that were singing, such as mechanics, carpenters, masons, and wood-cutters. The “singing” symbolizes Americans that are in high spirits. All of the workers that he heard singing were middle and lower class Americans that did not get paid greatly for their jobs. This indicates that having heaps of money and success is not a necessary factor for a content life. Despite their lack of money, the workers mentioned in the poem are pleased with their lives and are heard singing because they have the freedom to participate in a job that they enjoy. For this reason, being rich is…show more content…
This argument fails to consider that the richest man felt lost after only not being able to do what he loved to do, which was his job. He then stated that happiness is found through the freedom to do what one enjoys rather than just money. In addition, there are many Americans who are happy with their lives and who do not have massive amounts of wealth. In fact, it is impossible to achieve wealth without freedom. Therefore, the American Dream is the pursuit of freedom, which then leads to wealth and success. Freedom brings more people contentment because of the wealth and success that follows. But, wealth and success is not a necessary factor in contentment as there are various amounts of people who are happy without it as well as rich people who are miserable with
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