This quote, along with the remainder of his speech, betrays the ideal life of all Americans: equal opportunities In different aspects of life such as education, careers, and social status; n addition, King’s quote also expressed that one’s prosperity depends on their own abilities and hard work. This element of the American Dream has set a paved road for immigrants to fulfill this dream and has become a symbol of promises for this land of opportunity, in conjunction with keeping that light at the end of the tunnel for those citizens who hope to continue their pursuit of the American Dream.
Furthermore, it seems as though everyone has their own “bucket list”, a list of their own hopes and goals they wish to successfully achieve before passing on. However, he American Dream has somewhat eroded that Ideology; this Is due to the fact that it is most commonly associated with money and obtaining wealth, distorting the image of the young, prospering country into an all out race to winning the lottery. In effect, this has contributed to the erosion of the values the Dream was originally perceived as.
In the American Dream, the ambitions of citizens to maintain the pursuit of happiness, obtain an education, and build bonds of kinship are seen as a foundation for the mere existence of the United States through Its philosophies, principles. And purpose. The basic principles of the American dream can be defined simpler than one would imagine: who, what, how, and why. These tenets are the guidelines for who and what the American dream applies to, how they can achieve it, and why they strive for it.
It is a simple answer to whom the American Dream applies to: whoever wishes to achieve an overall high quality of life, regardless of religion, race, origin, sex, or age. The dream Is not intended for those who are lackadaisical In their ambitions and have their future planned by the Income of their parents, rather, It Is created for those who work to make their own living and who succeed through the process of their own hardships and dedication in pursuit of their own happiness.
To exemplify, in the novel The Great Gatsby, the main character Nick initiates his story by recalling the words of his father: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, Just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had,” (Fitzgerald 1). The words of his father can Imperatively relate to the Who’ aspect of the American Dream, due to the reference to those who have advantages and do not have to work hard to acquire their wealth or achievements. The question of what the American Dream is depends of the perspectives and point of views of each person.
For instance, a homeless person may have the dream to come across enough money to own a house, while a wealthy person’s dream may be to Involve himself or herself In volunteer work or to start a family. Through each person’s dreams and goals, they can achieve success. TO obtain any plausible goal, by showing hard work and dedication, along with each individual’s thought process and actions. In addition, one’s attitude toward achieving their goals is can make a big difference in either how difficult or how easy a time that individual has in the pursuit of their personal goals.
An example of this is found in the novel entitled O Pioneers! , which depicts the hardships caused by the unfortunate settings. In the novel, one of the characters, Carl, states: Freedom so often means that one isn’t needed anywhere. Here you are an individual, you have a background of your own, you would be missed. But off there in the cities there are thousands of rolling stones like me… We know nobody, we own nothing. (Catcher 42-43) This quote represents how he shows his uneasy behavior and therefore, is not satisfied with his current quality of life.
He describes him self as a “rolling stone”, owning no possessions and being an outcast of sorts. In the novel, Carl works hard to achieve a better status, a better ideal lifestyle for him. He does this by doing what any ordinary person would do to reach a goal: through hard work and dedication. Why would someone strive to accomplish his or her own American dream? For one, it is unquestionable that the overall goal for anyone in his or her life is to be happy in his or her own element.
The fulfillment of a person’s life, in addition to their overall satisfaction is good enough reason for anyone to want to accomplish their win personal American Dream. However, a “poll shows 39 percent of those surveyed say they’re very confident they’ll be able to keep up their quality of life. That’s down from 45 percent a year ago,” (Chafferer). Sadly, a cornucopia of things can stand in the way of someone attempting to achieve their goals, a wall that consists of the missing pieces to the puzzle of life: the money needed to obtain a goal, the education to reach a goal, or even the drive to want it through all the hardship.
That is what happened to Wily Leman, in the novel Death of a Salesman. He tries to fulfill the ants and needs of his family, which eventually leads to the erosion of himself and his own personal desires and goals. Is there one uniform dream for everyone? For the most part, the answer is yes, but unfortunately all these dreams may not be approachable. Some Americans still hang onto the belief of an equal society with equivalent opportunities for everyone especially themselves, and yet the limitations around them create a highly unlikely probability of such a happening.
The reason for this? : women, people of a different ethnicity, and those of a lower status all are still in a race to be the best and reach success, but cannot due to the outrageous amounts of unfair fiscal disparity present in the world today. An example of this is the nation’s current leader: President Obama. When it was announced that he was a presidential candidate, the country had split opinions mainly because of his appearance and background. Was he capable of running America because of the color of his skin?
Did he have the knowledge or the experience? Despite all the hatred and foul arguments thrown against him, he illustrated how his hard work and truthfulness could shine out through the color of his skin and the opaque bigotry that is unfortunately still resent today. He has completed a step into reaching his own personal American Dream, and has set a positive example by steering clear of the negative effects someone can receive by trying to pursue what one wants.
He has demonstrated that Martin Luther King has stated, “l have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be Judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” (King). And one day, this will no longer be a barrier for many in achieving their dream. Even for those who seemingly have already attained the desired American Dream by the possessions and tangible luxuries they own and by the stature of his or her class, the Dream is still attainable but from a different angle.
The divergence between the rich and poor is somewhat vast, however the rift between the two classes is not quite as large as it seems when it comes to their dreams and goals. One who has come into a lot of money and luxury may not be satisfied with his or her life, due to the fact that they may not have the memories and relationships that one may have of a lower class. These types of relationships and arsenal possessions are not a tangible object, but a very important element of the American Dream nonetheless. Even in The Great Gatsby, the American Dream is originally portrayed as a polluted envisioning, a passionless dream of wealth.
In the novel, Jay Gatsby held extravagant parties appealing to a massive amount of people; however none of which he had actually interacted with. Though it seems as Gatsby had had everything one man could possibly want, his life was very materialistic. For instance, the “floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter,” (Fitzgerald 46). By this quote it seems as if he had the perfect life, when in fact, he was not satisfied at all. The reason he held these lavish parties was to hopefully attract his love Daisy to him.
With her, his American Dream would possibly be completed, by having a successful life materially along along with his love life which fulfilled the personal aspect of the Dream. Over the years, the American Dream has greatly been changed and distorted into a more advanced, materialistic fantasy. Before all of the technological advances, the typical American Dream would consist of working hard into obtaining a successful career, Ewing treated Just like anyone else, to have a loving home life, and most of all to be happy with how one’s life stood.