The American Dream: It's Not All About Money

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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...

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... 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.
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