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Myths and heroes: to what extent should the American dream be debunked?

Dissertation : Myths and heroes: to what extent should the American dream be debunked?. Recherche parmi 298 000+ dissertations

Par   •  26 Mai 2018  •  Dissertation  •  622 Mots (3 Pages)  •  809 Vues

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I am going to talk about the notion of myth and heroes.

First of all I would like to give a quick definition of that notion. A hero is a person admired for his achievements, noble qualities and great courage. They can be fictional like Superman, Batman and others. A myth is a popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal.  We may wonder to what extent should the American dream be debunked?

The “American dream” is a term which originally referred to the belief that, in America, one could have access to fundamental liberties, climb the social ladder and achieve prosperity through hard work, courage and determination. The American dream is full of symbols. The United States is a county which fifers from most of the European countries: it makes people dream. The old world was not attractive anymore but all the Europeans had heard of wonderful stories of pioneers striking it rich in the west. The immigrants who succeeded contributed to birth of the myth. Many left Europe without penny to make a fortune in America. What they found there was liberty, infinite landscapes and a new lifestyle.

Some symbols like: The flag of the United States, Mount Rushmore, Lady Liberty, The Empire State Building   or even some Icons like: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne show the variety of a multicultural America society but give an ethnocentric vision of America.

The American way of life is also characterized by traditions, like THANKSGIVING. After a first year in which the Pilgrim Fathers nearly starved to death in the unfamiliar North American countryside, Pilgrims invited the Indians to a feast to thank them for their assistance. Nowadays Family members keep travel across the states to come together on the fourth Thursday in November.

But during the gold rush, many foty-niners never found gold.  Many over land travelers were not prepared for the harshness of the journey Supplies rang out very quickly and replacement were expensive. This area became very polluted and caused disease and death. For some of them dreams turn to despair, some gave up and went back to the east. For many of them the American dream turns into a nightmare, however it was a start from scratch.

Nowadays, natives how were killed or forced out of America are now relocated by the government to exploit sources of energy. About 22%, around 5 millions Native Americans live on tribal lands, like animals. The pressures to shift from a traditional way of life toward a western lifestyle has dramatically impacted the health and welfare of the native peoples and created a terrible epidemic of chronic diseases.

        In the past, ambitious but poor youngsters could become successful businessmen or leading entrepreneurs.

But today, despite the surviving notion that the U.S is a country of self- made men; the development of high technology and big corporations has made it more difficult for the ambitious, penniless boy or girl to go to the top. The virtues of hard work and invectiveness are still prized, but they are outdistanced by new requirements: higher education, university diplomas, expertise, sociability, docility and the ability to adjust.


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