The American Dream In Literature

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The American dream is alive in the hearts of all Americans and inspires many to move to the country. It is defined in Merriam-Webster as: “A happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful.” This topic is a central theme in literature because of its widespread popularity. In “Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemmingway, “Battle Royal” by Ralph Ellison, and Saving Sourdi by May-Lee Chai the theme is prominent in how the characters act. However, each story shows it from a different perspective. “Battle Royal” is narrated by a black boy who is facing prejudice from the white men of his town while Krebs in “Soldier’s Home” is fighting societal norms and wanting to express his freedom after serving his country. The major themes are how the American dream was, and maybe still is, a broken system for white or otherwise European descent, and that the American dream can be applied to more than just you life, but to personal values. The main character in “Battle Royal” was told by his grandfather: Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I never told you, but out life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy’s country ever since I gave up my gun back in Reconstruction. Live with your head inn the lions’ mouth. I want you to overcome ‘em with yeses, undermine ‘em with grins, agree ‘em to death and destruction, let ‘em swoller you
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