The American Dream
Rooted in the Declaration of Independence, the American dream is most simply: freedom. Freedom that leads to opportunities for prosperity and success through hard work and determination. To this day, many non-Americans strive for the American dream and have the desire to cross over the border and become an American citizen. Citizenship starts out as a pathway towards a dream but in some cases can turn into a nightmare. Some people look at newcomers in our country as their OWN opportunity for new work and take advantage of them. They put them to work for little pay and their needs not fully met because they do not know any better. This is a nightmare. Literature in our country has captured this American Dream concept through several different works. In one poem by Walt Whitman, I Hear America Singing, Whitman shines a positive light on the American dream. He writes that everyone in the United States have their own voice and their own job in this country. His poem expresses feelings of purpose. Purpose for every person in America, without any one person, the nation would not be the same. Langston Hughes, an African/American poet fired back a response to Whitman’s I Hear America Singing with his poem, I, Too Sing America. Hughes’ poem makes one assume that he did not feel the African/American population was not well represented in Whitman’s work. Although Whitman did not categorize different races in his poem, racial tension was a big issue in the time period . Langston wrote that he too deserves to be appreciated for his contribution to America. The American dream should be in easy reach for everyone. In fact, the American dream is not an appropriate title for it should be called, the World’s dream. Everyone shares the same desire for freedom and equality anyways.
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