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Myths and heroes : Why has the Amerrican Dream always attracted people from all around de world to the US ? And what does the American Dream mean today ?

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Par   •  20 Mars 2019  •  Mémoire  •  754 Mots (4 Pages)  •  843 Vues

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Amandine                               Myths and Heroes 


I am going to deal with the notion Myths and Heroes. A myth is a traditional story explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. A hero is a person who is admired for his achievements and his example qualities.

So far, we can ask ourselves how far we can say the American Dream is a myth. Why has the American Dream always attracted people from all around the world to the US? And what does the American Dream mean today?

Firstly, the “American Dream” is a term that was coined in 1931 by James Truslow Adams in his book “The Epics of America” which, at the time, referred to the belief that in America everybody could have access to fundamental liberties, climb the social ladder and achieve prosperity through hard work, courage and determination even starting from scratch.

Later America has been considered as a land of opportunity, thus attracting and welcoming thousands of immigrants each year.

Today America is still considered as a land of opportunity, a land of freedom, the home of the brave with liberty and justice for all as we have seen throughout the drawing Dreamland. In this drawing America is represented by symbols and stereotypes that can make people dream about the perfect land.

Indeed America is shown as a land of freedom with the symbol of the Statue of Liberty, but also as a land of entertainment with the Oscar statuette Uncle Sam is holding, John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Mickey Mouse, ect.. and also as a land of plenty with McDonald’s; symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life.

All the landmarks are represented but poverty and immigration don’t have any space in this drawing while the United States is also a land of immigrants; Afro-Americans, Hispanics and Asians represent 35% of the population.

Actually immigrants were attracted to a land where job opportunities and better living conditions seemed to be available to anyone. In fact, the United States can be seen as a promised land where everything is possible.

The song American Land by Bruce Springsteen is about the American Dream, and how hard you have to work when you immigrate to America to fulfill your dreams. It is about the possibilities available to make money and to make this land a new home. The song refers to the USA as a nation of immigrants, a land of opportunity, the promised land. In his song, Bruce Springsteen pays tribute to the immigrants and to the working class who dedicated their lives to build the country, he has a very jingoistic, idealized and biased vision of America. He really believes in his country, he believes the American Dream is still alive.

However, the American Dream became a reality for very few of them, and many remained poverty-stricken and had to face appalling social conditions in America. Their dream was seldom fulfilled and they had to accept low wages and tough jobs to make a living there.

Indeed this reality is well illustrated by the photograph about the Louisville flood by Margaret Bourke-White; the photograph is based on a contrast between the foreground and the background, between African-Americans queuing up to be given some food after the flood and a white family on a billboard living the American way of life.


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