The concept of the American Dream was first defined by James Truslow Adams in 1931 in the words “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth” (Lawrence). Thus, this particular concept is often referred to as the national ethos of the nation of USA which includes within itself the key features of the USA democracy like liberty, equality, fraternity, justice and others (Wysong, Perrucci, and Wright). Furthermore, many experts are also of the viewpoint that this particular concept defines the national character of the nation where all the people have equal opportunities and growth options provided they are willing to do the necessary hard work for the achievement of the dreams as well as the goals which they have set for themselves (Urahn et al.). However, in the present times with the rise of the concept of global capitalism and industrialism the concept is losing its relevancy and also the importance which it used to hold in the 20th century. This essay will discuss about the concept of the American Dream and its relevancy in the present day USA.
The concept of the American Dream has its roots in the “Declaration of Independence” which states that all the citizens of the nation are equal in the eyes of the nation and furthermore that they should go for the “pursuit of their happiness” (Brzezinski). The popularity gained by this particular concept is being reflected in the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and his other novels and also in the works of the other writers of the “Beat Generation” (Wysong, Perrucci, and Wright). These literary works in a significant manner upheld the various ideas which the concept of the American Dream stood for and at the same time also emphasized the virtues of this novel concept (Bouza). However, it is significant to note that these novels as well as literary works in a subtle also tried to portray the corruption which this particular concept has undergone in the recent times (Wysong, Perrucci, and Wright). Thus, at the time of the articulation of this particular concept the nation of America seemed to a land of opportunities to the people or more appropriately the land of one’s heart’s desire or more precisely an idea Utopia (Urahn et al.). However, latter on it was found by the people that the land of America was only a mirage which lured the individuals with the promise of endless opportunities to its shores (Wysong, Perrucci, and Wright). Thus, it would be apt to say that the articulation of the concept of the American Dream entailed with itself its inevitable corruption.
I would like to comment in this particular context that the concept of the American Dream is something which has a considerable amount of appeal for me. Being an American citizen it is obvious that I would be a firm believer in the concept of the American Dream since I have been following the various strictures of the American Constitution right from my childhood. However, at this particular juncture I would like to add that seeing the present scenario of the nation I personally believe that the concept is losing its sheen somewhat especially in the light of the current policies which the nation is following in the present times. For example, right from my childhood my parents, family members, teachers and other individuals who have wielded an influence on me have ingrained on my mind the concept that America is a land of opportunities and if a person is willing to work hard then he is likely to achieve the goals as well as the targets which he or she had set out achieve. However, my recent experiences and interactions with the business world have shown that this particular concept is not valid or not as valid as it used to be a century ago. The concept of global capitalism which is currently ruling the business world of the nation and various other factors which are influencing the nation in a significant manner in the recent times has to a great extent made this particular concept obsolete (Urahn et al.). It is a reflection of this particular fact that the people of the nation unlike the earlier times not only do not equal kind of opportunities but at the same time do not get equal reward for the hard work which they are putting (Cornuelle). Thus, it is generally seen that only a particular section of the society are reaping the benefits of the industrial growth of the nation and other advancements and the other sections of the society just doing the hard labor on behalf of these privileged individuals (Urahn et al.). The present state of the society of the nation can be adequately summed up in the words of George Orwell which he articulated in his famous novel “Animal Farm” where he said that “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than the others” (Urahn et al.). Therefore, I would like to say that the initial idea behind the concept of the American Dream has totally been subverted in the recent times and this has lead to the corruption of this particular concept in a significant manner.
To conclude, the concept of the American Dream represents the national ethos of the nation of the USA and also the ideas which motivated as well as influenced the early flounders and the forefathers of the nation for the creation of the constitution of the nation. However, in the recent times it is seen that the concept has lost its original sheen or relevancy which it used to hold in the earlier times. In the present times the society of the nation is more ruled by the concepts of global capitalism and industrialism rather than the concept of the American Dream. The concept of American Dream when viewed through the light of these recent developments would seem to be completely a façade.
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