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The American Dream

Dissertation : The American Dream. Recherche parmi 259 000+ dissertations

Par   •  31 Mai 2019  •  Dissertation  •  768 Mots (4 Pages)  •  218 Vues

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A myth is a traditional but unfounded story or idea that gives a reason for a current custom, belief or fact of nature. The American dream is a striking example of myth. The term American Dream was first used by James Truslow Adams in his book "The Epic of American" in 1931. He points out that: "The American dream is the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with the opportunity for each according to ability or achievement". But in some ways, it appears that this vision of a dream might be a disillusion and is tending to disappear, little by little. Hence, it might be interesting to ask ourselves to what extend the American Dream has become a myth. In order to answer this question, we will first study the foundation of the dream, through different examples, then we will try to understand why this American dream is a disillusionment before seeing that this dream is no more.

First of all, the American dream arose during the colonial period, with the discovery of the North American continent, the establishment of the capitalist economy and the conquest of the wild west. We can see this with the document “Queen” by Alex Haley and David Stevens. In this document we can have a glimpse of all the things that people said about this land of “boundless opportunities”. After the discovery of this land, the settlers wanted to create a community and develop wealth, especially with the Golden Rush, in order to contribute to the economy. The text also depicts the saga of a conquest, pointing out the Declaration of Independence, “the most eloquent foundations for the creation of an idyllic country”. As a result, the social values of the New World gradually evolved such as freedom, strength, equality, fearlessness…

Another belief that have founded the American Dream is that anyone, regardless of social class and circumstances of birth, can succeed if ones works hard and shows courage and determination. Several figures of hard workers or heroes such as Rockefeller or Andrew Carnage, embody the American dream with their rags to riches story. We can take the example of Rockefeller. He was born during the first half of the 19th century and started working at the age of 16 as a bookkeeper assistant. Later he founded the Standard Oil Company. In 1879, 90% of the refinery in the US belonged to him and 70% was exported all around the world. He became one of the wealthiest men in the US and gave a lot of his money for example he gave 75 million to the University of Chicago to follow the united states values such as the importance of giving

Nevertheless, this New world of opportunities and freedom appears to be a myth, a disillusion and is tending to disappears.

Indeed, this New World doesn’t seem to be open to everyone. Several documents illustrate this point for instance the arrival of immigrant in Ellis Island which appears to be very selective: it gives us a vision of America contrary to a country of freedom for example those who were sick are sent back to their country. We also see this with President Trump who backs plan to curb legal immigration in order to be fair with his citizen workers especially with several plan for instance the construction of a wall along the border between Mexico and the united states.

Moreover, the economy of the US has become weaker especially


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