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American Dream Essay

922 words - 4 pages

Yiping Ni, Finance 0902
An Introduction to UK and US
Course Instructor: Jiang Xiying

American Dream

At the very beginning of movie "The legend of 1900", several words --" He'd look up for a second. A quick glance out to sea and he'd see her. Then he'd just stand there rooted to the spot, his heart racing. And every time every damn time, I swear, he'd turn to us, towards the ship, towards everybody and scream. America!"-- was said to portray how exciting a man felt when he first saw America. It is the "American Dream", as we all know, that keeps attracting different people from different countries to chase their dreams in America. James Truslow Adams once defined the ...view middle of the document...

Historian James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase "American Dream" in his 1931 book Epic of America: It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

Despite its foregoing contribution, the American Dream has been criticized by some commentators because the modern American wealth structure still perpetuates racial and class inequalities between generations. Heather Beth Johnson states that edge are not always connected to individual successes, but often to prior position in a social group. What's more, a research suggests that "the United States and Britain show less intergenerational income-based social mobility than the Nordic countries and Canada." The criticism reached its peak after the World WarⅡ. The Beat Generation wrote a good deal of literatures to represent their disappointment to the country, say Allen Ginsberg's 《howl》. Nevertheless, the blame toward American Dreams could be explained. It is partly because European governments, worried that their best young people would leave for America, distributed posters like this to frighten them, and also the war has lead low moral in the nation.

In the 21th century, the American Dream, although it has changed a lot and may not be as inspiring as before, maintains its popularity with several evidences. In 2006 Barack Obama, still a state senator, wrote a memoir--The Audacity of Hope--reclaiming the American Dream. It was this interpretation of the...

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