Defining the American Dream

2340 Words10 Pages
Our entire nation was founded on a dream. Even though the actual idea of the American Dream was not coined until the 1930s, it’s always been there, it means something different to everybody, and it’s been ever-changing throughout the course of this nation’s history. There are three fairly common American ideals that define the American Dream. The first is financial stability, and with that, comes a nice home, family, and a fairly relaxed lifestyle. The next, is the idea that everyone is created equal and will have the freedom to live the life they want how they want to in a country that welcomes them with open arms. The final, and most unique to our nation, is the idea that you can come here with nothing and make something of yourself. You can work hard and end up reaping the benefits from which you have sown. Each of these ideals has remained constant in some way or another, but people cling to certain aspects of the American Dream in certain situations. For example, during the Great Depression people clung to the American Dream even more because it was all they had left; it was their hope for the future. As long as we cling to our dreams we are keeping the Dream alive because if we let go, then we have nothing left to hold on to in face of hardship and adversity. The American Dream is a symbol of everything right in this country which is why it stays alive through history, current events, and the hearts of American Citizens. The American Dream throughout History The American Dream has been present and ever-changing since the discovery of America. You can look in any old U.S. history textbook and see all the basic ideals America was founded on. America was a place where people could start anew and escape things like poverty, reli... ... middle of paper ... ... of starting anew. It could mean that you work for what you get and you get what you work for. It could mean having a nice house with a white picket fence. It could mean making something out of yourself even if you started penniless. The point is, it means something different to everyone and it is what keeps our hopes up no matter what it is. There have been many times where the American Dream was threatened. When our nation was falling apart because it was in financial crisis, we clung to our dreams and we pulled out of it. We could have given up, but we didn’t. We could have taken the easy way out and given up everything this nation stood for when we were about to resort to communism, but we didn’t. We held on to the dream and let it continue on for future generations. It’s because we didn’t give up that we have future, hopeful generations to pass the dream on to.
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