Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Success, Comfort, Happiness, and Prosperity: The American Dream
The ideology of the American Dream can be traced back to the flood of immigration in the early twentieth century. Families from European Countries sailed on boats from months to read the great promise America held. They left their home countries and everything they had to lead successful and prosperous lives in the US. Another form of the American Dream arose in the 1950s after the US successfully win World War II. Young men came back to their young wives and had many children, hence the name “baby-boom generation.” Soon Levittowns sprung up around the country, cookie-cutter houses divided by pristine white picket fences, to handle the population increase. In Arthur Miller’s 1949 classic, Death of a Salesman, the antagonists American Dream is to retire comfortably, pay off the house he raised his family in, and for his sons to have a steady job and settle down with a woman. His dreams are much like those of elder parents who want not only the best for themselves, but also the best for their family. My American Dream is different then those listed about though being prosperous and happy is a theme that ties them all together. Instead of the perfect conforming dream of the 1950s, I would have a more Cosmopolitan twist to it. Though everyone’s American Dream is different, they all have the some underlying tone: to be successful, comfortable, happy, and prosperous.
The American Dream was prevalent in 3 different time periods of American History. In the sixteenth century, Englishmen persuaded colonists to move to the “New World” by promoting America as the land of plenty, the land of opportunity, and the land of destiny. By the start of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of Europeans came by the boatloads to the country of spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties. Many left because of famine in their home...