"The American Dream: For Every Action There Is An (Un) Equal And Opposite Reaction"

2748 words - 11 pages

(Throughout America, every person shares at least one goal: to achieve an ultimate form of success and prosperity which eventually leads to a form of happiness and self-achievement. The "American Dream" is a concept that the majority of Americans firmly believe in and way heavily upon. It is a concept that consists of hard work and individual efforts which will in turn lead to success. The problem is that although many Americans confide in the Dream when times are difficult and look towards it for hope, it is the majority of these believers that are denied equal access to the American Dream. Opportunities for education, occupations, and wealth accumulation are unequal in due to race, class, and gender based predisposition. So, in actuality, The American Dream leads us to a false sense of security and foreseeable success.) In the early to mid 20th century, James Truslow Adams alleged that "the freedom now desired by many is not freedom to do and dare, but freedom from care and worry." Adams was an American historian and writer renowned for his vindication in the identity and pursuit of freedom. It is believed that Adams was the originator of the ideal of the "American Dream." This concept that Adams created was developed to term an aspiration that every individual has for perfection, educational and occupational success, social and economic achievements, a myriad of "wealth accumulation," moreover a general contentment in life. The idea of freedom that Adams mentions is not necessarily limited to the literal definition of sovereignty and choice. Freedom can mean a variety of different things to a variety of different individuals. As stated in the American Studies Today Online network, John Winthrop envisioned perfection as a "religious paradise" while Martin Luther King Jr. "dreamed of racial equality." The opportunities for success in America are the foremost reason for the substantial amount of immigration that America incurs. These opportunities appeal to and are "desired by many" that lie outside the borders of the United States and many choose to leave their homeland to pursue a better, more opportunistic life in America. However, in today's society, the American Dream only becomes a reality to a diminutive amount of people, while to the rest, it remains a dream. If achieving the American dream implies reaching some type happiness and essentially defines the principal means to living, then we must also take into significant consideration the secondary effects that arise from this concept. The belief in the American dream is so strongly instilled in today's society that it is actually considered an "anti-American" act to question its purpose or existence. Jeff Schragel, author of the online article, "The American Dream: A New Focus" proposes the question that "the belief in this dream prevent(s) [certain] groups of people from revolting or fighting for equality, thereby transforming them into docile workers that inevitably support the inherent...

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