“The American Dream” has eventually become an old concept which descends from the time with Henry Ford and Rockefeller and Carnegie who where among the very first to epitomize “The American Dream”. Way back in the 1870’s as the oil industry and the development of motor engines started growing those people saw an opportunity in the industry and managed to benefit of it. Later on they were known as the personification of the American Dream. The fact that they started from scratch and became successful has certainly been the major reason that they have acquired that status and started the concept “The American Dream”.
There are many definitions of the American Dream, and they have certainly changed as the time has passed the recent two centuries. Some might mean that the American Dream is to become extremely rich, famous and powerful, criteria only the fewest can achieve. On the other hand many would say that the American Dream simply is to establish a family with wife, children who can go to school and a decent residence. However some might put in further criteria which would be that you have to start out by very poor circumstances. So as you probably had already figured, the definition does change indeed depending on whom you ask and where you ask.
Nevertheless the inventor of the particular meaning of the phrase “The American Dream” was the American author Horatio Alger Jr. 1832-1899 who wrote “rag-to-riches” stories in several dime novels in which he described in fictive progresses how boys managed to achieve the American Dream by determination and courage. By then his novels encouraged many people to start working hard in order to chase that dream. “The Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 was the very first step to a huge Liberal society in America and all the spirit and foundation of The United States lies within that declaration.
The Declaration was the step to liberalism, individualism, justice and liberty in America and finally the American Dream as well as you can draw many similarities between those two ideas. Both state that every man is to be born equal and every man should have the opportunity to achieve whatever he desires, and that our destinies lie within our own hands. As there are many definitions of the American Dream it is hard to state what really epitomizes it. Personally I would say you have achieved it when you have done something unique for instance in order to help other people.
Unlike those Americans who think that the persons with the biggest fortunes like Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates epitomize it, I would rather say that persons like Martha Stewart, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King have fulfilled as they have done some exceptional for people in need which has become historic. Further wise I would add that personal happiness is the most important. There might be a thin line between wealth and happiness but not in all cases. Time after time it has been proven as success and large bank accounts have lead to drug abuses, loneliness, isolation and even death in some cases.
According to me that is a clear indication that money doesn’t necessarily equal to happiness. So other factors are required to fulfill the dream. The most obvious would be a social and secure life with relatives and friends as well. Is “The American Dream” good? Many people would say that the American dream is good or in fact necessary for America. It gives the citizens a great opportunity to pursuit something in life and attempt to achieve something. Even the poorest children can be able to work their way out in various ghettos in this liberal country.
In the middle of the dark tunnel the poor can see brightness at the end of the tunnel. The hope of achieve something despite the poor conditions gives the poor people’s lives a purpose, a reason not to give up. Nevertheless many people disagree upon the American Dream, and its values. Certain individuals such as writer Arthur Miller mean that there are too many paradoxes in the American Dream and that it basically gives a false hope of glory. Further wise they believe that the American Dream has equalled to a material greed among the Americans.
In order to earn much money for cars etc. eople work most of the day and therefore the focus is removed from the family to the work and the pay check. Another paradox is the fact that college definitely isn’t cheap. And the bachelor degree which you are given at the college graduation is necessary for many job fields. So if you come from a poor family it means that you cannot afford to attend college and that interferes with the declaration of independence which says that all people are given the same opportunities when they are born. So you cannot attend a college without paying large sums of money or carrying a scholarship.
A further example is discrimination. If you don’t have the right look, height or skin colour it could be difficult to hold a CEO or another leader position. The Result of “The American Dream” However the American Dream has not just encouraged Americans to fulfil it. Also millions of Europeans and South Americans have been tempted by the dream in “The Land of the Opportunities”. Therefore America has become the largest multi ethnical country which consists of all religions and races. Already after the “Potato Famine” tens of thousands went to America in particular from Ireland.
So America has always been an alternative or an escape, an opportunity to start a new life for South Americans as well as Europeans for instance after a life with poverty and war. And a bit chocking fact according to myself is that the American borders are wide open and they don’t even attempt to keep the immigrants out of their which many other countries do. So does this just explain a great hospitality or just carelessness as they actually do hesitate to offer financial contributions? So despite a lacking welfare system compared to Europe many people do choose to try their luck in America.
And some people do manage to integrate themselves in USA, and some even manage to fulfil the American Dream, Danes as well, but the fact remains that most of the immigrants, particularly immigrants from Mexico end up in the gutter and in worst cases in jail as a due to crimes which must be committed because of a lacking or non-existing income. Many Americans would claim that they have a healthy and strong welfare state. But it is yet no secret that it consists of 2 million homeless people and has the highest imprison rate per citizen in the world.
And there is no empathy from the wealthy Americans or the state. As a matter of fact the American Dream is a nice tool for the rich upper-class people and politicians to blame the poor and refuse to help them with the reason that they have had their chance to become something and if you have blown your chance then it is just bad luck. Conclusion It is claimed that everybody can achieve the American Dream. But as I have already been through there are many factors that could prevent you from achieving it.
However I do sympathize with the idea of the American Dream, but it is dangerous because it is overrated and makes people think irrational. And to a certain extent I do agree with the liberal point of views as I support. I agree with the ideology which stands for personal freedom, the freedom to develop yourself and the freedom to be yourself. Also that we are born equal and it is up to ourselves to realize our own dreams, and that it is a pity that people in Europe can receive a welfare check from the state when they don’t wish to work.
I don’t think we should support them with money to get food on the table. I think we should help them to get back on the track so that they can earn their own money, unlike in America where there won’t be taking care of anybody. It is claimed that everybody can achieve the American Dream by having good ambitions and determination but I would rather say that luck is the most important factor. The American Dream is like the wheel of fortune. Would you care for a spin?