The American Dream: The Ideas Of The American Dream

1982 Words8 Pages
The American Dream has been ingrained into our society for hundreds of years and is an immutable part of our national consciousness. Despite being so distinctly American, in many ways it is enigmatic and evades definition. Its meaning changes depending on which American out of 320 million is asked. To some, it evokes an image of a sterile suburbia covered with newly built homes and inhabited by a mother, father, and their 2.5 children, or the entrepreneur with four sports cars and millions in real estate. Others view it less materialistic and more as a lofty ideal, built into the very psyche of America which sets it apart from other countries, centering around equality of opportunity and the ability for anyone to achieve what they want through pure grit and determination in the fabled land of opportunity. Both views have historical precedence - the American standard of living has always been held up as a source of pride with regards to the former, and for the latter, rugged individualism and hard work has formed the basis of our founding legend ever since the first colonists stepped foot off the Mayflower and pushed westwards. My definition is a mixture of both; the ideals of hard work and being able to work towards the lifestyle you desire is central, but the material aspect cannot be ignored since a certain standard of living and income level is required if one wants to actually pursue their dreams and not be subjected to the constraints of poverty. Today the very
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