What is the American Dream

What is the American Dream? According to google, the American Dream is defined as “An American ideal of a happy and successful life to which all may aspire in the deepening gloom of the Depression. The American Dream represents a reaffirmation of traditional American hopes.” The meaning of the American Dream means many things to many different people. My American Dream consists of finishing high school and going to college. When I am finished with college I would like get a job, get married and one day have kids. From my experiences, I feel that my dream is not going to be easy. You have to work hard in life, not everything is going to be handed to you.

In the poem “America” by Neil Diamond his dream is to come to America to be free and have a home that is new and shiny. In the speech by Martin Luther King, he dreams of his children living in a nation where they are judged by character, not the color of their skin. He wants the nation to one day rise up and live out it’s creed of “all men are created equal”. The differences that I see between these two speakers are that one is coming to America, while the other one already lives in America. Another difference is that one speaker talks about America as being the land of opportunity, while the other sees it as a land of oppression. In the 1930’s, it felt like the America Dream no longer existed. Instead of a land of opportunity, it was a land of misfortune. During this time, many farmers left the Midwest and headed to California in search of stable employment and the ability to feed their families due to the “Dust Bowl”.

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Today’s American Dream hasn’t changed much through the generations. After interviewing my parents, I found that they had similar goals and dreams. Both have achieved their dreams in part, but still continue to have more. My Mother has achieved part of her American Dream. She went to college, has a professional job and lives in a home in a safe neighborhood to raise her kids. She still wants to be able to retire with a nice nest egg, leave something to her kids, and not have any debt when she leaves this earth. My Father’s American Dream was to become a Forester and live in Montana working for the US Forest Service. Although his goals have changed, such does life, he still wants to leave this world making it a little better than what he found it. One thing that I have learned is that everyone has an American Dream. That the American Dream can be achieved if you keep at it, have a positive attitude and work hard.


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