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Spaces and exchanges : To what extend can we say that the American Dream is still alive ?

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Spaces and exchanges

I am going to talk about the notion “spaces and exchanges”.

Introduction :

  • First, I will define the notion. An exchange is an act of giving and receiving. You can exchange and give ideas, goods and services or people. For example, immigration.
  • Indeed, immigration is adapted to this notion because it supposes exchanges between people from different countries. We will focus on immigration to the United States with the American Dream. The American Dream is the notion that the American social, economic and political system makes success possible for every individual.
  • We can wonder : “To what extend can we say that the American Dream is still alive?”
  • First, we will talk about the American Dream as a trip to freedom. Then, we will show that American Dream isn’t only positive.

Argumentation :

  1. The American Dream as a trip to freedom.

Coming to America appealed to many immigrants from Europe as they found a way out of situations of persecution and oppression as well as political and economic difficulties. They dream to meet better living conditions which may be in regards of political, economic or social aspects of life. For example, Rose in the book Pears on a Willow Tree by Leslie Pietrzyk. She intends to become an American woman in 1919 as soon as she can. Immigrants want to try their luck in the United States. They are attracted to the American Dream. It is the idea that everybody can succeed in the USA as long as this person is courageous, hard-working and determined. No matter where this person was born or what his social background is, as soon as he has qualities, he can become rich and be successful. We can talk about Ellis Island, an immigration station that opened in 1892, located near New-York. After an arduous sea voyage, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were tagged with information from their ship’s registry. Then, they waited on long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States. We saw in class a picture that represents an immigrant inspection at Ellis Island in the 1900s. Ellis Island was seen as a new chance to start a new life for immigrants.

  1. The negative aspects of the American Dream.

So, like thousands of colonists, today, immigrants come to find the wealth and the glory in the USA, but still, at times, everything doesn’t go as planned. Immigrants have difficulties in becoming integrated and the exchanges between communities are rare. A few months later her arrival in the USA, Rose tells her life is difficult. She lives with many others people and she is tired all the time. She finds learning English really difficult. We can also talk about a cartoon from Puck magazine dated 1888, at the time of a great peak of immigration to the US. Uncle Sam is welcoming hordes of immigrants with open arms and offers them jobs. But native-born Americans are left homeless and jobless. This document is anti-immigration propaganda, it shows that a lot of Americans were afraid of the consequences of massive immigration to their country.


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