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Writing and communicating well are important aspects of both the business and academic worlds. The goal of this essay is for you to thoughtfully examine your own relationship to (and the wider cultural importance of) the American Dream. Ultimately you must provide a clear and arguable discussion of the American Dream which takes into account the accepted, traditional definition and reexamines that definition in light of your own understanding of the topic._

What is the American Dream?

Idea generation / brainstorming, drafting, revision and proofreading, using first person narration.

Approximately 4 pages, double spaced, 1” margins all around, typed, 12 point Times New Roman (or similar) font. Upload final draft to Blackboard on the due date.

Essay must follow proper academic essay style. This means it must have a clear introduction (that introduces the topic, contains a thesis statement, and provides a clear definition of “American Dream”), body paragraphs that explain your thesis, and a conclusion that sums up your argument. The best essays will show a clear and thoughtful consideration of the topic, use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and have correct sentence and paragraph structure.

James Truslow Adams' definition of the American Dream

James Truslow Adams in 1931 first defined the concept of the American Dream. According to his words, ‘life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with equal opportunity for all men and women’. This 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. Truslow’s 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 (Cornuelle). The paper aims to highlight about the concept of America Dream and its relevancy in the current decade in the USA. The thesis statement or the main idea of the paper is to analyze how important the concept of American Dream is and how relevant it is in the current scenario with the rising industrialism and global capitalism.

The concept of the American Dream represents the national ethos of the nation of the USA and 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 (Sánchez-Escalonilla). 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. The nation is more ruled by the concepts of global capitalism and industrialism rather than the concept of the American Dream.

The explanation of the American Dream can be illustrated by various thought and methods according to individuals view point. The concept of America Dream is itself a controversial topic. The U.S is mainly known to be the land of dreams (Putnam). The ideal life in case of the citizen’s of the land consists of three main subjects.  The first one consists of the ability and the right to chase for one’s dream. The second one consists of the right to be acknowledged by an individual and the third one consists of freedom from any types of oppression.

The notion of the American dream is now centralized upon the underlying corruption in our society. Though unseen by the eyes, it is shown by the actions that are taken by others, and even the government. Some of the issues that are mostly believed include the perception that all the citizens consistently follow the truthfulness of the law. But things were different. The concept of American Dream has its roots in the declaration of Independence that states that all the national citizens are equal in the eyes of the nation and it is important for them to pursuit their happiness. F. Scott Fitzgerald in his novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, reflects the concept of American dream and the popularity gained in the current era (Barth, Ross and Moutusi). Some of the other notable works in the context of this concept includes ‘Beat Generation’. These literary works upheld the various ideas which the concept of the American Dream stood for in a significant manner and at the same time also emphasized the virtues of this novel concept.

The concept of the American Dream as the national ethos

One of the major factors that contribute to the failure of the achievement of the American Dream is the steady increase in the level of inequality over the last 30 years among the different social levels of citizens of U.S (Gallagher). The widening gap of the inequality relayed to income, race among the blacks and the whites tends to expose some of the lingering effects of the notion of marginalization and the injustice related to economy on the majority of the citizens of America. Apart from the racial discrimination, the gender differences and the discrimination related to gender also contributes as the hurdle towards the fulfillment of the American Dream.

Some of the truths that are held as self evident in nature include the concept that all of the men are created equal. Each and every individual are bestowed by their inherent and inalienable rights that includes right to life, liberty and happiness (Ehrenreich). Furthermore for the security of the rights, the governments are instituted among the individual for the effective derivation of their powers.

The achievement of American Dream undoubtedly depends on the individual’s definition of dream. Instant wealth has never been a big component of dream and the American’s live traditionally encircled their efforts on hard work and thrift. Benjamin Franklin, during the colonial period counseled people on the ways to the wealth (Chetty et al). There has been an age old saying by the Poor Richard's Almanac that ‘Early to Bed, and early to rise, makes a Man healthy, wealthy, and wise’. Researches explained that the American’s of the early republic illustrated that the key to wealth and to achieve their dreams is by the help of the industry. They furthermore illustrated the notion of Benjamin Franklin regarding the labor ideology of the industry. Next coming to the midst of the industrialization that was followed by civil war, many of the citizens of America experienced profound hardship in the context of the economic landscape that is changing.

The concept of global capitalism which the American dream is now centralized on, 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 made this particular concept obsolete. It reflects the 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

The future of the American dream is still a controversial topic and a topic of much debate. This is because it is a big question and challenge whether the dream is achievable by majority of the people. From the previous researches on the history in U.S and the current social trends in the country might not fall into the places in case of the white middle class group of the country (Laeven and Alexander). The chances and the opportunity to follow and pursue the American dream have been disappearing from the minds and the lives of most of the people. This itself is a serious threat towards the society in the current scenario. The thesis furthermore clarifies and states that the current scenario is taking a toll in the lives of all the citizens since the failure for the achievement of the desired life’s objectifies lower quality of livelihood in case of the future generation.

Conclusion

Thus it can be concluded that the concept of American dream consist of a set of rights. The concept has been a very attractive subject and a subject thought to be easily achievable for a vast period of time. The current scenario depicts a story that is somewhat different. The situation in the recent decade has make in tough for the common citizen of the country to reach and fulfill the American dream since there lies many of the obstacles and the factors of discrimination and inequality prevailing in the society that has been increasing steadily through the timeframe. The essay describes how the importance of the American dream has been declining in this decade of increased capitalism and industrialization in America. This situation is heading towards a worse scenario where the future generation might never be able to reach or perceive the American dream as a factor of realistic approach and the very concept of this dream is on the track of abolishment from the minds of the common citizens of America.

References

Barth, James, Ross Levine, and Moutusi Sau. "For Whom are We Building the American Dream?." (2015).

Chetty, Raj, et al. "The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940." Science 356.6336 (2017): 398-406.

Cornuelle, Richard C. Reclaiming the American dream: The role of private individuals and voluntary associations. Routledge, 2017.

Ehrenreich, John H. Third Wave Capitalism: How Money, Power, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest Have Imperiled the American Dream. Cornell University Press, 2016.

Gallagher, Leigh. The end of the suburbs: Where the American dream is moving. Penguin, 2014.

Laeven, Luc, and Alexander Popov. "Waking up from the american dream: on the experience of young americans during the housing boom of the 2000s." Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 49.5 (2017): 861-895.

Putnam, Robert D. Our kids: The American dream in crisis. Simon and Schuster, 2016.

Sánchez-Escalonilla, Antonio. "The crisis of the American Dream in new century independent cinema: Indiewood and the recovery of the ordinary citizen (2002-2015)." Communication and Society 29.1 (2016): 21-34.

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