The American Dream, the Global Nightmare Essay example

The American Dream, the Global Nightmare Essay example

Length: 1421 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

There is no escape. It encompasses every factor of the modern American lifestyle. It all begins with "The American Dream," in which everyone strives to become part of the ideal, the obsession, that supposedly defines how happiness can be obtained. But happiness is not, contrary to the beliefs of the American Dreamers, measured on a checklist including 2.5 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, quaint house in suburbs, white picket fence, 2 car garage, freshly mowed lawn, etc. That image is a facade over the ever-crumbling ashheaps of our world. It is impossible to measure one's life or happiness on a scale of coffee spoons, cars, or annual income, but people continue to plug away like machines for no other reason than to make the money that they honestly believe will bring them true happiness. This idea is everywhere, leaving much of America longing for a life that does not exist and working toward a goal that will never be reached.

It is not difficult to fall into the trap of the American ideal because we are already accustomed to absorbing, using, eating, believing every other man-made product, and the ideal is, in fact, just another fabrication of the society. Man is ungrateful, casting aside all that he has not manufactured or processed, abandoning the natural world from which he has emerged. America has been turned into "an immense country filled with decent houses, good roads, orchards, meadows, and bridges, where a hundred years ago all was wild, woody, and uncultivated" (St. Jean de Crevecoeur 440). Henderson searches for himself away from all that man has made, becoming dismayed to find that others have been to what he considers the beginning of the earth; even there the effect of society has seeped into life, takin...

... middle of paper ... of motivation. It is easy to fall victim to a lack of motivation upon seeing the collapse of the dream that was once the main driving force for people to work at all. The most powerful example of an ingredient missing in the wasteland is love. Love is the ultimate truth and the ultimate motivation, so when Frome has no love at all in his life and is left without any escape from his moral isolation, the wasteland cannot be denied. Likewise, when there is no love for what someone does and he only does it for the sake of living up to the ideal, such as the Lomans', the demise of the fantastic facade, and thus the onset of the wasteland, cannot be stopped. The wasteland inhabits all aspects of society today. It is a dark, gloomy cloud that hovers over the earth, blocking all hope-all life-from making its way into the reality of the world in which we live.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Urban Sprawl: The American Nightmare Essay

- Many Americans would be shocked to learn that the American Dream may be the cause behind some of society’s most troubling problems. The dream of owning a house, a car, and a yard with a white picket fence is the driving force responsible for the phenomenon known as urban sprawl. Urban sprawl, sometimes referred to as suburban sprawl, is characterized by low density development, geographic separation of essential places, and dependence on automobiles (mackinac). Since the 1990’s, an ever-widening range of organizations have come forward to support policy promoting socially and environmentally intelligent growth, known as smart growth, in reaction to the many undesirable features of urb...   [tags: Informative Essay]

Powerful Essays
1568 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about The American Dream: Too Frequently a Nightmare

- I think that the American Dream is a social ideal based on equality in social, political and economic rights and privileges. The constitution of this country suggests that every person who lives on American soil is free. In the United States’ Declaration of Independence our founding fathers:"…held certain truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." I consider these words to be the foundation of the American Dream....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]

Powerful Essays
1866 words (5.3 pages)

Of Mice And Men : The American Dream Or Nightmare? Essay

- Of Mice and Men: The American Dream or Nightmare The American dream is the ideal that every citizen of the United States has an equal opportunity to succeed. John Steinbeck thoroughly expresses his thoughts of this dream throughout his novel, Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck explains what the American dream is to his characters and how they plan to achieve it. This sets up the inevitable reality of the dream in America. Although America advertises the “American dream”, in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men the characters cannot achieve this ideal due to living in a predatory world, hard times, inescapable hierarchies, and the portrayals Steinbeck uses of America....   [tags: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck]

Powerful Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)

The American Dream or Nightmare in The Movie: The Godfather Essay

- Question 1: The American Dream or Nightmare. a) The godfather is the story of an immigrant family trying to gain a better life in America. In the early 20th century America was so heavily promoted as the land of opportunity and immigrants jumped at a new and hopefully improved life. Vito runs a very successful business, although not legal, he has established a better life for himself and his family. As seen in the first 20 minutes of the film, Vito can afford to pay for a lavish wedding for his daughter, though at the same time we see the contrast of the dark side of his business....   [tags: evil, good, land of opportunities]

Powerful Essays
1602 words (4.6 pages)

The Decline of the American Dream Essay

- On a brisk September day in 2011, in the commercial district of Manhattan Island, a minute protest in Liberty Square commenced against the fiscal atrocities committed by economic establishments leading to the financial crisis and subsequent economic recession in 2007 and 2008. Over the course of the month, the movement protesting the miscarriage of justice and democracy following the economic catastrophe and the overall inequitable and unfair wealth distribution diffused to over 100 American cities as well as 1,500 cities worldwide....   [tags: American Dream in Decline]

Powerful Essays
4500 words (12.9 pages)

The American Dream Essay

- The American Dream in Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Millions of immigrants come to America each year to seek their American Dream. Many people believe that rising social mobility and success is possible in America for everyone due to the American social, economic, and political system....   [tags: American Dream Essays]

Powerful Essays
1443 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Illusion of the American Dream

- People will journey far and wide, traverse the entire continent, suffer all manner of pain and suffering, if they believe that, in the end, they will be rewarded. That is why it comes as no surprise when people from other countries struggle to get to America, believing the ancient tale of "the American Dream", convinced that they will finally make it big in this land of riches. But they find out it is not like that. The American dream is the idea held by many in the United States of America that through hard work, courage and determination one can achieve prosperity....   [tags: The Myth of the American Dream]

Powerful Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

Historical Account of African-Americans Seeking the American Dream Essay

- Historical Account of African-Americans Seeking the American Dream The American Dream began as a vision for the men who framed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. These two documents provided the foundation upon which the American Dream was built. The reality of the American Dream translated into a nightmare for the African-Americans who had to overcome slavery in order to achieve the ideal that all men are created equally. Their dream did not become a reality with the signing of the Declaration of Independence; in fact, even after slavery was abolished, there was no concrete date established that mandated that whites and African-Americans...   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]

Powerful Essays
1813 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about The American Dream

- "The American Dream" is that dream of a nation in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with options for each according to capacity or accomplishments. It is a dream of social stability in which each man and each woman shall be able to achieve to the fullest distinction of which they are essentially competent, and be distinguish by others for what they are, despite of the incidental conditions of birth or stance. The American Dream is often something that humanity wonders about....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]

Free Essays
673 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on The American Dream

- missing works cited It is the intent of this paper to prove that the "American Dream" can best be explained as a "ciity upon a hill." "Ciity upon a hill" meaning being above and superior over those below. The Civil War, the imperialistic race of the 19th century, the Korean War, the KKK, and the Gulf War are all examples of the "American Dream" of superiority playing a part in American History. Each American has a different idea of this superiority, but nonetheless strive to achieve it, whatever it may be in....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]

Powerful Essays
1824 words (5.2 pages)