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Obstacles Of The American Dream Essay

1612 words - 6 pages

“The American Dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” --James Truslow Adams. The phrase “The American Dream” has been expanded upon or refined in various forms, but is essentially based on Truslow Adams’ idea. This concept has been subject to criticism because some people believe that the structure of society prevents such an idealistic goal for everyone. The economy, for instance, can cause poverty-stricken men and women to attain a major disadvantage. Other attributes goes towards inequalities that jeopardizes fairness, as well as apathy through lack of success to obtain the American Dream.
The American Dream provides Americans hope that if they work hard, they will eventually be successful, no matter how penniless the person. To understand the construction of this topic, there is a need to understand the circumstances involved. The Epic of America, The narrative in which the American Dream was constructed, was produced in the nineteen thirties. During this time, the Great Depression was at the height of destruction, and the new president Franklin D. Roosevelt created the “New Deal,” which inspired newly-found hope. In his Second Inaugural Address, he voiced his vision for the expanded role that the government would take in American's lives by stating, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little” (Franklin D. Roosevelt). This began the facade of hope towards the impoverished folks attempting to achieve success. In reality the optimism and dedication given towards this dream is disproportional to acquiring it. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the American Dream is apparent through many of the characters. In the novel, the narrator mentions a certain setting relevant to poverty, “This is a valley of ashes--...with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air...immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight” (Fitzgerald). The valley of ashes Consists of the dumping of industrial ashes. It represents the plight of the poor, like George Wilson, who live among the dirty ashes and lose their vitality as a result. The men of the area are watched by the blue eye’s of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, a billboard advertisement placed in the valley of ashes as explained by the narrator by saying, “But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic —” In The Great Gatsby, the color blue represents hopes and dreams. Therefore, the color of the eye’s in a setting of complete dismal, ashen grey represents that the...

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