America 's Idea Of Equal Opportunity Essay

America 's Idea Of Equal Opportunity Essay

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America has long been thought of as the land of opportunity. Thousands of people from various countries emigrate to America each year, but why? North America is a place where individuals can safely escape famine, as well as religious and political persecution; however, not everyone was considered equal. The ethos that the “American Opportunity” establishes an idea that any individual can achieve true prosperity and success. Al Sharpton once said, “America can’t work for only some people and become a dream for all people. It has to work for everyone. And even though everyone might not end up at the same place, if everyone starts with the same beginning, then that’s the dream fulfilled. We all don’t have the same abilities, but we should have the same opportunities.” Sharpton’s idea of equal opportunity evolves around the philosophy of the American Dream, even though practically anyone other than a white male with citizenship to the United States was subject to constant discrimination, lower pay wages, and harsher punishments. To women, foreign-born individuals, and African Americans, these harsh disciplinary actions were a common reality. The American Dream claims that every individual in the United States, regardless of race or gender, is entitled to the same opportunities of his or her neighbor; however, history proves very different evidence. Likewise, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, represents the blurred idea of the American Dream through Gatsby himself, as well as the Valley of Ashes where ashes from industrial factories rain down on the poor, lower-class individuals who reside there. Many of these lower-class towns in early 20th century United States were made up of individuals who emigrated there; however,...

... middle of paper ... lives solely on the pursuit of wealth, thousands of other individuals are never able to obtain the true American Dream. The meaning of the American Dream has mutated into a new idea in which only a small percentage of Americans are able to obtain wealth and prosperity through self-indulgence. Theoretically, everyone should be able to go from “rags-to-riches” with equal opportunity. Less influential towns, such as the Valley of Ashes, should properly represent its population and strive for prosperity, because even if the American Dream now has a different meaning, at least everyone will be able to succeed. Though America is thought of as the land of opportunity, history shows almost the exact opposite. If each individual is granted the same freedoms and rights as everyone else, there is almost no way for anyone to fail-- unless they simply do not apply themselves.

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