Racism In The American Dream

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This study will define the problem of racism in the falsity of the American Dream as defined in the writings of Alger, Dalton, Jen, Baldwin, and Cisneros. The notion of equality and fairness in the American Dream has often been defined through the false presumption that hard work will allow the individual the reward of fame and fortune. However, racism against minorities, such as Chinese immigrants, is defined in the Chang family’s struggle to join a local white country club in “In the American Society” by Gish Jen. The Chang endure continual harassment—even though they are wealthy business owners—by white supremacists, such as Jeremy at a country club party:
Jeremy began to roar. “This is my party, my party, and I’ve never seen you before
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Esperanza’s struggle to achieve the American Dream is defined when she fantasizes about living in a “real home”, and not the one on mango Street: “They always told us that one day we would move into a house, a real house that would be ours for always so we wouldn’t have to move each year” (Cisneros [page number is missing from file: insert here.]) of course, Esperanza is continually told that they will achieve the American Dream by getting a “real house”, but the reality of life for Mexican-American minorities is that they must live in temporary apartments. In this manner, a Mexican-American could work very hard, yet they do not have the same opportunities that white Americans have in realizing this goal. Certainly, Esperanza must live in a continual state of poverty and transience because her parents cannot afford to buy a house in their income. This part of the problem of racial bias in American life, which often favors the white American as being able to afford a house and get a high paying job. Cisneros is, much like Baldwin and Gish, talking about the barriers to the American Dream to minorities that are barred from having access to the comforts of American life often given to predominantly white Americans. These are important aspects of Cisneros “The House on Mango Street”, which define the underlying racial…show more content…
Certainly, Dick appears to be a white protestant boy, which seems to give him the best wages/salaries possible, yet this standard does not apply to people of differing racial backgrounds. The ‘reward” for black people that also worked hard (often for free under slavery) exposes the hypocrisy of Alger’s mythic representation of equality and fair wages in America in Dalton’s critique of stories, such as Ragged Dick: “ Black folk certainly knew what it is like to be favored, disfavored, scrutinized, and ignored all on the basis of our race” (Dalton 273). In many cases, people of color have also learned arithmetic, much like Dick, but they have been rejected from the labor markets due bigotry and racial alienation in the American workplace. Dalton’s analysis of Alger’s fictional account of the American Dream only applies to the protestant work ethic, as well as the opportunities that protestant white boys can achieve through “hard work.” Certainly, Alger’s mythical vision of the American Dream does not include minorities, which illustrates the problem of racism in the united states. These factors define the literary examination of the falsity of the American Dream through the problem of racism that is found in the writings of Alger, Dalton, Jen, Baldwin, and

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