The American Dream: It's Not All About Money Essay

The American Dream: It's Not All About Money Essay

Length: 1197 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

As individuals, we have our own ideas of what the American Dream consists of. To some it may be the realm of possibilities, while to others it may be fame and fortune. America is the only country in which the idea of a national dream has been continually upheld, and we have been a model for other nations to follow. Foreigners have come here to live the dream, and all the while Americans are still struggling to find it. As we continue to search high and low for how to find or how we can buy the dream and make it a reality, Americans have promiscuously thrown their money around in hopes of obtaining the dream and consequently are broke and more miserable than ever. Does the American Dream actually exist, and if so, is there really a way to achieve or acquire it after all these years of unrelenting pursuit?
The possibility of making our hopes and dreams become a reality used to lie at the heart of what we have come to know as the American Dream. Long before the present “the only credential...was the boldness to dream,” according to Vanity Fair contributing editor David Kamp. This dream has been what has drawn so many people to America; more pronounced was the sense of possibility. The American Dream was once a glimpse of simplicity as shown in Norman Rockwell's “Freedom from Want'” painting, portraying a family enjoying a nice meal, without the modern oversized house, extraordinary décor, or any other excessive things, just a simple family with a simple meal in a simple house, and they sure look happy. Historian John Tirman writes about the ideology of American exceptionalism and that “if the world is our oyster, there is no need for restrictive rules and regulations...” in his 2009 article. We have strayed from...


... middle of paper ...


... or materialistic belongings, the goal of home ownership. “The viability of the American Dream is not in question,” Kamp argues, nor is it the acceptance of nothing less than everything. The dream initiated as a set of ideals, not specific goals, and perhaps there comes a time when a reassessment is needed to ground ourselves and get back to a humble mindset of the phrase from the second sentence of the Declaration's of Independence: the pursuit of Happiness.



Works Cited

Kamp, David. “Rethinking the American Dream.” Vanity Fair.com. Conde Nast Publications, April 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2010.
Krugman, Paul. “Home Not-So-Sweet Home.” New York Times. 23 June 2008. Web.
Tirman, John. "The future of the American frontier" American Scholar 78.1 (2009): 30+. Academic OneFile. Web. 9 June 2010.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. “All Shopped Out.” Flip Side. 16 May 2008. Web.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The American Dream: Success, Happiness, And Money Essay example

- I believe that the American Dream today is based on success, happiness, and money. The reason i think this is because the reason people go through all those years of schooling is to become succufal, in return for being successful you make money, and because of money you can get and do the things you want, which in return makes you happy. Happiness is not all money, it also has to do with love. Lets first start off talking aboutnthe success, and money part. American children start school at the tender age of four....   [tags: American Dream Essays]

Free Essays
484 words (1.4 pages)

The American Dream in The Lost Beautifulness and The Gilded Six-Bits Essay

- The American Dream in The Lost Beautifulness and The Gilded Six-Bits The America Dream is defined in general as a dream of a land that is better richer for everyone based on accomplishment and opportunity. This dream is usually sought after by people who have been deprived of their social and human values. People who have not been able to achieve this dream based on restrictions of their situations that plague their lives. These situations can be different for everyone, race, sex, handicap, etc....   [tags: Money American Dream Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
1581 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on Money in Our Society

- Money in Our Society There are certain things in our lives that are very important in order to survive. In our society these ‘things’ have a cost to them, it can be an emotional or physical cost, but the cost usually has a dollar sign attached. Our society is ran by money and the love of money has led many people in our society in a wrong direction, pursuing one thing, fortune and glory. Here I am, I have a job that pays, and it pays well. I have a girlfriend who costs too much. I have a truck that sometimes breaks down and can potentially cause financial disaster, plus the insurance....   [tags: American Dream Money Materialism Essays]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

The Consequences of Misguided Dreams: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- When people think of their dreams, they often include money, success, and material prosperity. The “Great American Dream” is something that many people are familiar with, but it does not have a clear definition. Everyone has their own definition of a dream. People often include freedom, money, or power in them. Although there may be many different definitions for the “Great American Dream” not all of them are noble, or correct. Misguided dreams lead to pain; in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie characters who follow their misconstrued dreams struggle towards happiness....   [tags: great american dream, money]

Strong Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

Fitzgerald Explores the Jefferson´s Ideal of ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ in The Great Gatsby

- The American Dream is said to be realised through hard work and perseverance ; it is ostensibly a reachable goal for anyone who chooses to exercise their ‘inalienable right’ to the ‘pursuit of Happiness.’ This ambiguous phrase, ‘the pursuit of Happiness’ was originally inserted into the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson and is a clear and overriding concern in The Great Gatsby. In the 1920s, when the novel is set, America was experiencing a newfound level of prosperity; the economy was booming and the possibility of gaining wealth became an achievable reality....   [tags: american dream, money, Scott Fitzgerald]

Strong Essays
2098 words (6 pages)

The American Dream in Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck Essay

- ... Le's get that place now." "Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta." And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie's head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering.” (Steinbeck ___). At this moment in the book is where George and Lennie’s dream ultimately becomes impossible....   [tags: equal, money, achieve, dream]

Strong Essays
890 words (2.5 pages)

Irony of The Great Gatsby Essay

- Many authors use irony as a way of questioning the reader or emphasizing a central idea. A literary device, such as irony, can only be made simple with the help of examples. Irony can help a reader to better understand certain parts of a novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald helps the reader to recognize and understand his use of irony by giving key examples throughout The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald uses Gatsby’s lush parties, Myrtle’s death, Gatsby’s death, and the title of the novel to demonstrate how irony plays a key role in the development of the plot....   [tags: american dream, money, extravagant parties]

Strong Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essay

- The Great Gatsby The main theme of the novel “The Great Gatsby” focuses on the American Dream and it is portrayed through the life of Jay Gatsby. Through Gatsby’s life we see the withering of the American Dream, a tragedy that struck Jay’s near finished dream. The American Dream is what many have hoped of achieving, it has existed in the past and is in the present. The American Dream gives people a goal that they can work towards, it also gives them a purpose in life. The American Dream represents luxury and wealth it believes the goodness of the quality of life....   [tags: English Literature American Dream Money Essays]

Strong Essays
1180 words (3.4 pages)

Is the American Dream Changing or Fading Away? Essay

- In the 1920s, the American Dream was much different from what we believe the American Dream is today. Although it is changing, the American Dream is also fading and people are making their own dreams. The American Dream is the traditional social ideals of the United States and many people’s lives revolve around trying to achieve what they perceive this dream as. “Childhood was better when I was a kid.” Being a teenager that statement is used a lot in my life from grandparents and parents. The American Dream was originated in the early days of settlement....   [tags: tradition, social, ideals, immigrants, money]

Strong Essays
606 words (1.7 pages)

American Dream Dying : The Economic Lot Of The Least Advantaged Essays

- In “American Dream Dying”: The Economic lot of the Least Advantaged by Peter McClelland and Peter Tobin discusses the core economic components of the American Dream. In chapter three the topic is on financial security the authors discuss the different financial downfalls and how it can effect the outlook of the American dream. Many people work hard so that they can avoid minimum income. In the workforce today many Americans face hard times due to the economic triumph and tax increase. In this chapter McClelland explains four categories that affect financial security....   [tags: Debt, Money, Investment, Finance]

Strong Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)