Although the term “American Dream” was not coined until 1931, the Dream’s ideals have served as a cultural compass since the founding of the United States (Library of Congress). Disenchantment with the idea of economic mobility began to slowly surface as the United States progressed through the Industrial Age, as many Americans struggled to k...
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...rican Dream has created a highly polarized country that stigmatizes dependency and contributes to the cycle of poverty. The Dream’s innocence justifies and avoids confrontation of issues that many believe are responsible for excluding certain individuals from the Dream, for instance, class inequality, racism, educational imbalance, and gender discrimination. Analyzing the paradox between the elements of the American Dream and the reality of the current political economy brings into question the validity of the American Dream. Does it still hold true, or did it ever? The emerging consensus suggests that the Dream is indeed a double-edged sword, intending to sharpen America’s progress but inadvertently wounding those who cannot afford to attain the its success.
Rich, Adrienne. An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems, 1988-1991. New York: W.W. Norton, 1991
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