Advertised as the land of the free and a beacon of hope and opportunity, America is a nation where a single ideal has drawn masses of immigrants who conquer difficulties. When one ideal has shaped the history of an entire nation, one must ponder the meaning of the American Dream. The American Dream manifests itself in Christopher McCandless’s journey to the West as chronicled by Jon Krakauer’s book, Into the Wild. It weaves itself into the fabric of every American story, such as that of Maya Angelou’s memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Moreover, it finds itself voiced by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. The American Dream is the guarantee of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and self-determination through hard work regardless of social categorization, as seen through McCandless’s pursuit of happiness, while …show more content…
According to McCandless, “[Joy} is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living” (Krakauer 57). By turning against the materialistic world in which he grew up, McCandless was free to pursue happiness and truth where he believed it laid. He chose to create a new life, “one in which he would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience” (Krakauer 23). McCandless was able to forge his own path forward to be content with life, and he even changing his name to Alex Supertramp, conveying his new life (Krakauer 23). The ability to forge one’s path is a part of the American Dream. Furthermore, diligence characterizes the American Dream. McCandless’s belief that “a challenge in which a successful outcome is assured isn’t a challenge at all” (Krakauer 182) reflects this statement. McCandless’s beliefs and attempts to survive note the necessity of perseverance and
The “American Dream” is usually thought of as aspiring to change one's life for the better and materially better their situation. We think of it today as going to college and getting a cushy job, but for many in our American history it was much more simple. Many asserted their American dream by declaring their independence. The main similarity was that each had an audacious goal to improve their own life and the lives of some of those around them. Their pursuits of liberty were intimately entwined within the dramatic upheavals taking place in the land recently named America.
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
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” a doctrine established by our founding fathers and adopted by the United States as the original meaning of the American Dream. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the dissent of the American Dream. As time progresses the meaning of the American Dream became lost, but it still has pertinence to the present. The Declaration of Independence set the basis of what the American Dream meant and why it still has relevance to its people’s live today.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson. The American dream is the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to meet success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. George Hilton from mice and men, traveled miles to find a successful job. George also, dreamed about big houses and jewelry, but instead found a stable job.
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.
“Things usually work out in the end.” “What if they don’t?” “That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.” (Walls 259) By definition, The American Dream is both the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American as well as a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.
The American Dream is the expectation that American’s will have opportunities to become successful, rich, live peacefully, and provide for a
In addition, in a journal entry, McCandless writes, “It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it’s great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you” (Krakauer 37). This excerpt shows that McCandless sincerely is at peace with himself and the world because of where his ideals have taken him.
In the essay “The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold?” Brandon king argues whether or not the American Dream is still alive and well in the USA. The author makes a strong case that the American Dream is, in fact, still held to a high degree of belief in America. Not only does he successfully argue that it is still alive, he presents information that shows how the Dream itself has shifted from a rags-to-riches story to one of a stable, happy life. Overall, King’s use of strong emotional appeals, coupled with his employment of sound reasoning and statistics make his argument that the American Dream has evolved over time very effective.
The American dream is a dream of land in which life should be better and richer for everyone. It’s a land where people succeed to accomplish their ambition of a better life. Most of the people have a different way of defining this American Dream. Unfortunately, for some, it could mean wealth,status,or power whereas for others it could mean companionship, good morals,love,and amity. According to our Declaration of Independence, it entitles every man and woman the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
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
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.
In conclusion, inevitable factors indicate that the road to achieve the American Dream is difficult. Therefore, all Americans need to have confidence to achieve personal goals and believe that tomorrow would be better that today. In other words, people still should follow the national government and have a positive attitude to
People argue that the American Dream is impossible. In David Wallinchinsky’s article titled, “Is the American Dream Still Possible?,” he gives multiple statistics on sob stories where even educated people suffer from false hopes that they will live out the American Dream because they are “educationally qualified.” What he fails to realize is that the dream will not be attained by education alone, there are more factors to it than that such as the most important, opportunity. It just so happened that those people didn't get their break.