American Dream: a Myth or Not

Topics: American Dream, James Truslow Adams, Working class Pages: 5 (1955 words) Published: November 14, 2011
American Dream: A Myth or Not
Many people have dreams whether it be to buy their dream car, dream house, or go on their dream vacation. Here in the land of freedom and opportunities, we all strive from one dream; the American Dream. The American Dream can mean different things to many people. For some it can mean success or freedom, for others, it can mean having lots of money and luxurious things. In today’s society, everyone hopes for this dream. But is it possible for each and every person to achieve this dream? Some people go to school, get a well paying job, and become able to make it to the top while the fortunate ones get there on pure luck. Then there are others who have difficulties climbing the economic ladder and remain at the bottom discovering this dream becomes nothing more than a myth with endless trials and disappointments (Sandler). Individuals not only need to realize the true meaning of success, but must also know that with enough determination and motivation, and with the right attitude, the American Dream can become a reality or even a myth (Foster). So what is the American Dream? Essentially the American Dream becomes the idea that anyone can succeed through saving and hard work, and be potentially happy living a successful life. People were always taught that if they are honest and worked hard enough, they would be able to obtain their dreams (McNamee and Miller 9). However, the American Dream seems to be more difficult to reach nowadays because not everyone is content with what they have. Society seems to be caught up by the media and everything around them and become brainwashed to believe that the American Dream includes big mansions, luxury cars, and expensive possessions. Today’s houses are “fully equipped” to pay off and lessen the loss of the public area. But fifty years ago homes were 1,700 square feet compared to now houses are up to 2,700 and interior architecture (Sandler). The definition of success has also been changing over the decades and causing people to desire things that they never would have before. As some would define success by getting married and having a family, others would define it by making a six-figure salary and wearing designer clothes and accessories. With today’s generation, it can never be enough and people tend to want more and more which raises the standards of success for some people causing many to lose hope in their dreams (Wolpin). When people are not satisfied or happy with what they have now, it leads to unhappiness and desiring more means having to make more money. Instead of struggling to pay off credit cards used to pay for unnecessary material things, people should learn to be content and happy with what they currently have and perhaps they would be able achieve success (McNamee and Miller 27). Success in America is not guaranteed, however, neither can it be a guaranteed end of failure. America, well known for its diversity of cultures filled with many different races and backgrounds (Sandler). Every individual can be given the opportunity to succeed regardless of what they are or where they came from. Although, it may be true that a white child raised in an upper-class neighborhood will have greater chances of success then an African-American or Hispanic child who was raised in a poor community, it does not mean that success cannot be obtained. According to a recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll found that African Americans and Hispanics were more likely than whites to believe that children of all races had adequate chances to succeed in America (Brownstein). Chances for success in America can definitely be possible if a person is determined enough and put the extra effort in to it. To say that because of one’s gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or background, success cannot be unattainable, is just another excuse to give up. It might take more work and motivation to climb to the top, but if everyone knew the...
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