American Dream or No American Dream? Essay

What is the American Dream? The American Dream is when he/she gets married, has a steady income, owns a house, and has children. Although some people believe that the American Dream is still attainable, there are many who believe it is not.

The American Dream may be harder to reach now in today’s society, but many people believe it to still be attainable. Although are economic times are difficult today, those who work hard and persevere through the hardships, are the ones who are able to obtain the Dream.As Clifton put it, “The American Dream is rising up from nothing and making your life into something (John Clifton, personal communication, May 14th, 2012). That is exactly what Steve Jobs had done and has become a major icon in today’s society. Steve jobs was adopted when he was very young, and grew up with basically nothing, and he went on to become the CEO of Apple through hard work, and perseverance to make his parents proud (“Steve Jobs Biography”, 2012).

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The American Dream is not something that can ever be handed to you, you have to work hard, do all that you can to make something of yourself.Along with Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey has a unique story to tell as well. Oprah was born in a poor town, and later moved to Baltimore and became a TV talk show host, and from there she was recruited to start her own show, called The Oprah Winfrey Show (“Oprah Winfrey Biography”, 2012). Jobs and Winfrey are just two of hundreds of people who rose up from nothing to obtain there American Dream. Fitzgerald (1925) wrote in The Great Gatsby, Involuntarily I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light (p. 52) The green light that Fitzgerald is referring to, symbolizes Gatsby’s American Dream and which he will one day marry Daisy, and have a family with her. Gatsby knew what he wanted and he did everything he could to win the girl and to obtain his Dream.

Those who believe in the American Dream are the ones who know that through hard-work and dedication, much can be achieved. While the argument for the American Dream still being attainable has much evidence, the side of it not being attainable is just as strong.Many things in today’s society can prevent someone from obtaining their Dream.

Schneider said, “Today, college education is required to get a job, and most kids can’t afford to pay for the tuition (Phyllis Schneider, personal communication, May 18th, 2012). Schneider is extremely accurate on that statement, and college tuitions are rising year after year. Being born into poverty, most likely you will not obtain the American Dream. It is much harder to do so, because you have nothing to start with.There are children in America who can’t afford an education, but our government spends all the money on themselves, or spending 16 million dollars to send their whole staff to Hawaii. That just shows you that the American Dream has vanished from this country. The American Dream is slowly diminishing and very few, if many at all, can/will obtain it. Clifton stated that the American Dream is harder to be obtained by the lower class not only because they are brought up as lower than everyone else, and that they will never succeed John Clifton, personal communication, May 14th, 2012).

Both sides on whether the Dream is still attainable present excellent arguments, but I believe that the American Dream is still attainable in today’s society. Although the economy may not be the best, and it may take a lot of work, there are many people who have come from nothing and made something of themselves. Jobs, Winfrey came up from having nothing and are some of the world’s most famous icons. Another example would be Huckleberry Finn. Although his Dream may be different, he is still able to obtain it coming from nothing (Twain, 1884).

There are more and more people obtaining the American Dream because they want it. They don’t want to be another American who just lives their life; they want to make a living out of it. The American Dream isn’t always about yourself; it’s what you can do for others. You’re giving your wife a good husband, teaching your children that hard work does pay off. The American Dream is still alive today, it may not be right in front of you, but you can do anything through working hard.

I believe that if you start off with the right mind set, the American Dream can be obtainable to anyone who wishes to attain it.


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