The American Dream:
The American Dream, defined as “a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers,” serves as the foundation for our country, an ideal that has fascinated thousands over the centuries; formed from the phrases “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and “all men are created equal,” it encompasses numerous meanings ranging from the search for freedom and equality (as seen in the heartwarming story of a white boy and a black slave searching for freedom in a racially oppressed Southern society) to the (fruitless) hunt for the “promised land” (like an Oklahoman family’s unfaltering journey westward) to the need to fulfill materialistic needs (such as the upper class society in Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby), and while all these meanings have demonstrated importance through literature across the centuries, they are all still prevalent today as Americans live in a commercialized society that creates a materialistic mindset within consumers and our country continues to battle for equality with an increasing wealth gap and racial tensions; attributing to creating the true American experience as well as overblown expectations, this illustrious “American Dream” has caused many to wonder whether it is a vice or a virtue…
21st Century America:
A once great nation, founded upon an ideal of social mobility and liberty, faces some of the most egregious disappointments of any country on Earth: a crippling war that has become one of the longest formal military engagements (if the vague concept of warring against “terror” can count as a continuous enemy), crippling social inequality both legally – overcrowded prisons and disproportionate prosecutions of colored peoples – as well as economically- a politically apathetic populace disillusioned by excessive partisan bickering, rounded off by a relatively unstable, inconsistent economy threatened to collapse under the weight of an 18 trillion dollar (and growing) debt which the aforementioned apathetic public has no political patience to change; truly, the once great nation of America will realize the consequences of past mistakes, especially as the rise of regional powers such as China and ISIS bring to light the economic and foreign policy blunders made by the United States government, respectively.
Source: “American Dream.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.