Essay about The Impossible American Dream

Essay about The Impossible American Dream

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The Impossible American Dream in Anzia Yezierska's “America and I,” Uncle and Jayanti from Chitra Divakaruni's “Silver Pavements, Golden Roofs,” and Leon from Fae Myenne Ng's Bone. America has always been characterized as the land of dreams and opportunities. Immigrants entering America took these characterizations to heart. The dreams and aspirations of stable, wealthy, and happy lives in America became known as the “American Dream”. However, the “American Dream” hardly ever turns out like any individuals have anticipated. This is evident in the lives of the main character from Anzia Yezierska's “America and I,” Uncle and Jayanti from Chitra Divakaruni's “Silver Pavements, Golden Roofs,” and Leon from Fae Myenne Ng's Bone. The failed “American Dream” is a driving force in all of their lives. Gregory S. Jay suggests a solution to this problem though. He writes,
The literary history of the US ought to be represented not by 'the American' and 'his dream,' but in terms of how various cultural groups and their forms have interacted during the nation's ongoing construction...Such a history would have many protagonists, wearing many faces, speaking many languages, recalling divergent history, desiring different future...focused around contestation rather than unity” (Jay 271).

Jay suggests a way to eradicate the idea of the “American Dream” and create a new life and dream for each individual. In the lives the main characters from...


... middle of paper ...


... of their “American Dreams.” In an attempt to follow this way of life, not only their dreams, but their whole lives becomes a daily struggle to live. However, if we do away with the “American Dream,” and adopt the accepting “divergent histor[ies],” languages and individuality of America, the success that is attempted in the “American Dream” could finally be achieved by all of the cultural groups of America (Jay 271).



Works Cited

Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee. Arranged Marriage. New York: Anchor, 1996. 35-56. Print.

Jay, Gregory S. “The End of 'American' Literature: Toward a Multicultural Practice.” College

English 53:3, 1991. 264-281. Print.

Ng, Fae Myenne. Bone. New York: Hyperion, 1993. Print.

Yezierska, Anzia. “America and I.” Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol D. Ed. Paul

Lauter. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. 1968-1976. Print.

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