The American Dream as Portrayed by Various Authors

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The American Dream can be traced to the Declaration of Independence which states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed…with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson). These doctrines are the foundation of the rights of all citizens in the United States. For over a century these ideas have drawn people from foreign shores to America, the land of opportunity, a place where dreams can be achieved. The very concept of the American dream is built upon the idea that whatever you dream can be made to happen because there are few government barriers place upon the citizens. It is deceptive in its name the American Dream; for that implies that there is one dream for all. In fact, the American Dream is very personal. It means different things to different people, but it is always inspirational. It is the dream of its own citizens; some here for generations while some may be new citizens. The concept that this country offers opportunities that can be obtained by anyone provides people with the ability to dream their own dreams. The American Dream can be a motivational fire, but if ne wished to not be burned, one must focus on building a balanced life of family, honest work and love.

lf had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. (20.12)

Although there is a stereotypical American Dream, people personalize it to make it their own. The attainability of the stereotypical goal cannot be evaluated because of the variations of this dream. For instance, the most common version is the idea of rags to riches. When Arnold Schwarzenegger came “here with empty pockets, but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire" (Schwarzenegger 27), he was fulfilling the dream of an immigrant. While making the Keynote Address at the Republican National Convention in 2004, he stated that he wanted and achieved, success, a career and a family, which he owes to America (27). The traditional concept of rags to riches is not always the foundation of some people's dreams. In the novel The Great Gatsby, Gatsby’s dream is to relive his fantasy with his idealized former lover. He uses the rags to riches portion of the American Dream as a means to an end. He spends his life trying to gain Daisy’s love and subsequently a higher social status.
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