The American Dream: A False Sense of Hope

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In an average day, an American is exposed to over 3000 advertisements, (Kilbourne). Whether they want to admit it or not, they are drawn toward them. A common scheme of the advertisers is to allow the consumer to “picture the new them.” Whether this be a wealthier them, a skinner them, or a prettier them, they gear there product towards every person and want everyone be able to connect with the advertisement and picture the “new them.” American Idol, Nutrisystem, and The Biggest Loser, the lottery, and many other “products” promote that anyone has the chance to be famous, fit, or fortunate. The successes from these “products” present themselves as they were before, with the sob story that hopefully touches a nerve with Americans, or the “consumer”. Then, like some sort of miracle occurred, they are the “new them,” giving a testimonial that “you can do it too!” and you can be who you have always wanted to be. However, the sad reality is that these people are lucky. It rarely happens that someone makes it in the music industry in a matter of months, looses two-hundred pounds in less than a year, or wins millions of dollars within days of buying a piece of paper. Because few exploit the American Dream by promising wealth or fame to many others, a false sense of hope has been created for those who are economically marginalized.

In our country’s long history, there have been many similar accounts of these events. From the stories of Horatio Alger to multiple classic Disney films to some of the world’s most famous celebrities, there has always been a time where a person has risen from a lower economical ranking to being successful and wealthy. Surprisingly however, the concept of the American Dream is a fairly new i...

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...companies uses their advertisements to allow the consumer to picture the “new them,” and how many advertisements draw Americans in because of their promises. This statistic is not biased, because is not for or against one side of my argument.


Zippel, David. Zero to Hero. Prod. Alan Menken. Perf. Tawatha Agee, Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Cheryl Freeman, and Vanéese Y. Thomas. Walt Disney Records, 1997. CD.

The song, Zero to Hero, is a song off of the Hercules: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack. The song is about Hercules being a farmer’s son and rising back to the rankings of the Greek Gods. The phrase “zero to hero” was originally coined from this song. The phrase ties in with my argument as being a common term used when describing how someone came to fame or fortune. This song does not present a bias towards my argument.
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