The American dream is something common to all people, but it is something that everyone views in different ways. The American dream is different for everyone, but they share some of the same aspects of it. The dream is dependent mainly on the setting of where one lives and one‘s social status. For example, The Declaration of Independence was by Thomas Jefferson, who was an upper class white male. He wanted freedom, but freedom for people like himself that were white landowning males. Martin Luther King, in his I Have a Dream speech, also called for freedom, but mostly for African Americans like himself. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his book The Great Gatsby, that he would have liked to eliminate the idle rich, which he was a part of. Every American dream is somewhat different, but they all relate to the times that one lives in.
In The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson asked for equality for white landowning males. His American dream was to be free from Britain and to be treated equally. This dream only included people like himself, that were white men who owned land. The people that signed the document were all part of that class. They were the people leading the revolution, so Jefferson thought they should be the ones reaping the benefits. In the text, it talks about “the merciless Indian Savages.” Obviously they were not included as being equal. Jefferson also wrote “We…the Representatives of the united States of America…” He was referring to himself and everyone who signed The Declaration of Independence, none of whom were women or black. Jefferson also wrote “…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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” He specifically used the word “men,” when he could have said “all people” instead. This also shows how his dream was for all men to be treated equally. Jefferson’s dream is different from Martin Luther King’s dream in the specifics, but in the whole they are the same dream. Both want equality for their people, the people that are in the same class and race they are in. Jefferson’s dream is fairly different than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dream in principal, but the dreams are similar in that they both want change for the better. Their dreams also focused on the social class they belonged to.
Martin Luther King’s American dream is to have equality for everyone, but namely African Americans. In his I Have a Dream speech, he said, “…we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.” He was saying that even though America is supposed to be a free country, African Americans were really not free and treated equally. King said, “…the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” African Americans were not given good job opportunities. They were isolated and it was hard for them to live comfortably when all the families with white males could have high paying jobs and affords the comforts of life. He also said, “This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” King was referring to The Declaration of Independence, which had been aimed to gain equality for white males. Colored citizens were not included in it, and this was wrong. King was saying how the document was supposed to promise freedom for all people, but that this was not true at all. African Americans were not free, and they had to live a hard life full of segregation and discrimination. He did not really ask for equality of all people though, like Asian or Hispanic people, but mainly black people like himself. This makes King’s American dream very similar to Jefferson’s American dream because they both wanted equality for their people. The dream is different from Fitzgerald’s dream, but they are similar because they both demanded positive change and they focused on their specific social classes.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American dream was to eliminate the idle rich. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald showed his distaste for them. One character, Tom, had an affair with another women. Tom brushed it off as nothing when talking about it. He lied to his wife Daisy quite often, so he could get away from her for a weekend. Fitzgerald showed how this was wrong, and that it should be stopped. Gatsby, another character, would throw parties all of the time. Anyone would come, even if they didn’t know Gatsby. The partiers made a lot of noise at late hours of the night and left big messes for the maids to clean up in the morning. Fitzgerald was showing how the rich are careless. They have no respect for anyone and only think of themselves. Also, when Gatsby died, no one attended his funeral. This showed how all his rich “friends” didn’t even care enough to come to his funeral. Fitzgerald was a part of the idle rich. He had a good amount of money, drank a lot, partied often, and had affairs. His American dream related to the class that he was a part of, just like Jefferson and King. All of their dreams dealt with the part of society they belonged to. Fitzgerald wanted change like the others too, but he wanted to change who he was. Jefferson and King wanted to change other people’s perspective of them.
Jefferson, King, and Fitzgerald’s American dreams shared similarities. All of their dreams had to deal with the social class they belonged to. Jefferson’s dream dealt with white landowning males, King’s dream dealt with African Americans, and Fitzgerald’s dream dealt with the idle rich. All of their dreams also dealt with change for the better. My American dream is to go to college, have an enjoyable job, get married, have kids, and have a nice house. My dream is probably what most upper-middle class people aspire for. This makes my dream similar in that it deals with my social class. It is also a change for the better. I don’t want to live in my parents’ house all my life. The American dream is universal in that everyone hopes for positive change and that the change deals with their place in society. The American dream something that everyone aspires for, even if it is hard to accomplish. It is the thing that keeps people going.
This academia was first published 28 Mar 2005 and last revised 15 Feb 2016.Adam Cap is a sometimes raconteur, rare dingus collector, and webmaster probably best known for SixPrizes (serving as “El Capitan”) and PkmnCards (read: fine art purveyor). He scrapbooks yonder every minute or three.
The American Dream
The American dream may mean pursuing a happy life with a sustainable job, a family, acquiring wealth or success in life. This vision surrounds freedom of having an opportunity to prosper in life. Thus, people have the opportunity to achieve their goals by whatever means irrespective of the nation one comes. This dream is made possible due to equal opportunity for all. For example, most people have been successful in America due to their educational achievement, business achievement. However, achieving the American dream is not a walk in the park since it requires hard work, determination, and passion. People from different countries love to be in America hence most of the immigrants are flocking the nation. Others usually feel disappointed when they are denied visas to relocate to America either to be permanent citizens or for education purposes. All these activities happen because people want to achieve the American dream.
Attaining American dream requires a career that is to be achieved amidst struggle. For example, securing a good job requires proper education which is expensive besides seeking relevant human relation skills that form part of the dream. However, this dream is accessible due to the available opportunities as well as ways to improve on a career. People require an environment where they can thrive and freely mingle to achieve the American dream, and that can only be attained due to the presence of human rights and freedom of speech.
On a separate note, American dream involves happiness which comes as a result of achievement as an individual who wants to accomplish goals such as becoming rich or being famous. However, achieving such happy life requires hard work. This idea was also supported by Bill Rancis who said, “The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars startup money. It can be done with an idea, hard work, and determination” (Rancic). This quote attests that achieving American dream requires hard work and perseverance.
The American dream can also be achieved through other means apart from attaining education. For instance, many rich Americans have achieved their dreams in unexpected ways. A good example is Oprah Winfrey who is one of the gorgeous women on earth pursued her American dream despite her humble background. She was an orphan who was raised by her grandmother in poverty. On a separate note, Kevin Garnett struggled from a street, but his love for games made him a professional basketball player in the USA while Tupac Shakur who had no home became a famous rapper.
The American dream is accessible due to freedom and rights. For example, schools are free to everybody. People have equal opportunity for achievement. On the same note, people have equal opportunities for employment due to education systems that are not discriminative. The schools also offer opportunities for special options based on interests. Besides, people view American dream as laws that protect people as well as enabling them to achieve their potential. Therefore, people can contribute to the society as well as developing themselves. The progress of citizens is pegged on their protection hence through their rights. Thus, they can live healthy lives.
On the contrary, some people believe that American dream is unattainable and do not believe that it is good life or happiness as they languish in poverty, oppression, and discrimination regarding race, color, religion and gender among others.
In conclusion, even though some people feel that American dream is unachievable, it can be achieved by both the US citizens and the immigrants who are committed to their objectives of attaining a good life due to hard work, determination and having a passion for the dream.