The American Dream

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Essay The American Dream

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This paper discusses the idea of the American dream, pervasive throughout American culture, as first coined by James Truslow Adams in his book, “The Epic of America”.

This paper explains that Adams’s American Dream focuses on the greater social and political aspects of America, noting the importance of a society-wide effort in creating a better, free, and democratic America. The author points out that, today, many Americans argue that Adam’s American Dream is simply not achievable by most Americans because of the ugly realities underlying race, gender, and ethnicity, which often bar Americans from achieving their dreams. The paper concludes that perhaps it is not surprising that any culture, no matter how progressive, has had difficulty living up to Adams’s high ideals in a time of tremendous cultural and economic changes.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Adams’s American Dream Defined
The American Dream Today
Adams’s Beliefs and Today’s America
Modern America and the American Dream
Conclusion
“Perhaps the most startling discrepancy between Adams’ view of the American dream and the view of the American dream held by modern Americans lies in the area of financial gain. Today, most Americans view the attainment of the American dream in financial terms. The American dream has come to mean a bigger house, a nicer car, and more money to spend on material goods. This view is in stark contrast to Adam’s thoughts that the American dreams is “not a dream of motor cars and high wages” (p 404), and that the American dream “can never be wrought into a reality by cheap people or by ‘keeping up with Joneses.'””

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