(The Great American Dream has changed from time to time, and now it’s our turn to look at it critically and give a new perspective)
In a world history class, students have often come across the mention of the American Dream but hardly anybody tried to evaluate the same on today’s circumstance and value. After the Second World War, America adopted and tried to follow an ethos of the Great American Dream. There are several war history movies for the classroom that will enlighten students about the horror of war that ravaged the USA and other parts of the world. American Dream was an endeavor to make the country a better place for all its citizens.
The idea of equality was taken very seriously and all forms of prejudice and discrimination were condemned. Brilliant essays on this I believe topic open up a trajectory of contemplation regarding racial issues in America. The whole idea of The American Dream was giving all equal opportunities and the boom in production during the war made it possible to open up opportunities for all people.
Origin of The American Dream
As history documents, the idea is deep-rooted in the idea of equality. The US Declaration of Independence says that every man, irrelevant of his class and creed, is created equal and thus has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This happiness can only come from equal opportunities in education, learning, employment, and having access to all that makes life comfortable and prosperous.
It also encourages brotherhood and collective efforts to make America great again. In free essay samples about community service, one can trace a relic of the American Dream that the leaders and citizens of America had dreamt about. We have seen this American Dream not only after the war but also in the 18th and 19th centuries in America’s efforts to compete with the world. However, it was only in the 20th century that the idea became so widespread and brought people and institutions together.
The Representation of the American Dream in Art
So how do we see the American Dream in art? Several movies, novels, and dramas have depicted the American Dream through the years. They have shown both the bright as well as the dark side of it. Many students have chosen the topic of the American Dream for their essays to dig deeper and research its origins in art. We shall briefly talk about some of the most important pieces of art that hold up the American Dream.
1.The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald in his novel, The Great Gatsby has portrayed the American dream like no one else has. It is a love story that takes place in the early 20th century on the surface. But underneath it, the novel is about a poor guy who only by hard word achieved a successful vis a vis rich life for himself. The extravagant parties that Gatsby hosts stand as a symbol of critique of the American Dream.
2.The Grapes of Wrath
This novel makes up an important part of high school courses in America due to its historical context and enduring legacy. It has several interpretations and a major one is how it subtly touches upon the American Dream.
3.The Social Network
This film is an inspiring one that embodies the true spirit of the American dream and how one ordinary boy can change the dynamics of communication and technology only by merit and hard work.
What is the American Dream Today?
The American Dream today is to achieve true equality and opportunity irrespective of color. The George Floyd case enraged America and showed the true situation of racism in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people came out in protest and all they want is to raise their children in a land that is free of all kinds of prejudice. Filmmakers in America are coming up with movies with lessons that instill in people a sense of brotherhood and encourages empathy and sensitivity for people of color.
Criticism of the American Dream
Roosevelt has been criticized for his “economic policy” called the American Dream. Critics have seen it as ghoulish consumerism at its best. It instills in people a notion that being rich is being happy. The whole capitalist ideology is embedded strongly in the concept of the American Dream. When one wants more, one buys more. It is no more about the pursuit of happiness but a pursuit of a commodity that might make us happy.
The American dream cannot simply be achieved by chance but by taking risks and involving all the resources that a country has. Despite the criticism, one can say that the lives of Americans today are better than they were 100 years ago. If that’s not a step forward, what is?