Factors affecting people's perception of the American Dream

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:English

Document 1

Children from families of the upper social class, for example, are more likely to have access to a better education than children from families in the lower social class. This is because although education is available to all American citizens, the children from rich families will have more resources than those from the poor families. This gives the rich an advantage towards achieving of a good education and career success and therefore a disadvantage in achieving of the American dream. The socioeconomic status of different people in the society is not the only factor that affects the people’s perception of the American dream. Ethnicity and gender play an important role in the lives of American citizens bringing the question as to whether or not there is equality to every member of the society. This has led many not to believe in the American dream is a lie, arguing that equal opportunities to all members of the community cannot be attained. Although there may be some factors that affect the ability to achieve the American dream, opportunities are available from every American citizen from any gender, social status or ethnicity to achieve the American Dream. The American dream can be very much affected by age. As people age so does their understanding of the American dream. Most of the young people think of the American dream as having a lot of money and cars. However, as people age, they start thinking of it as having financial freedom, being happy and secure.

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The world changes as we get older and so does our ideas. Hence as people get older, they may rethink the American Dream. Sometimes when people are very young, they may think it very hard to achieve the American dream as they don’t have opportunities. This change with time as they finish their education and get jobs and the American dream becomes a reality. The age at which one starts pursuing the American Dream plays a very important role in achieving it, as the four narratives prove. At the age of 18 years, all of the narrators hard already started working hard towards achieving of the American dream although each one of them had different perceptions of it. The one thing they had in common was that their journey towards achievements of the American dream started early in life and so did the opportunities.

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Although there are some cases of gender discrimination and gender inequality in present-day America, one gender is not a constraint towards the achievement of the American Dream. It would be incorrect to say that people do not face any challenges with respect to their gender at all stages of their lives. That is usually not the case. It may be true to that the rich have more resources at their disposal, giving them an advantage over the others. But the basic requirements for achieving the American dream are available to all American citizens, rich or poor. It all depends on one’s determination to achieve the American dream and the hard work and effort one puts into it. From the story of Norm Fergus McIntyre, we see that one can come from a family that is not wealthy and still be successful.

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It deals with the realities of American myths of social and class mobility. The novel fails to realize the American dream and instead portrays the American dream as a nightmare that brings discontent to those who pursue it as they come to realize that it is unattainable. Daisy Buchanan’s character in the novel clearly shows how the writer viewed gender as a major factor that affects the achievement of the American dream. As an upper-class white woman, Daisy must adhere to the gender expectations of the society like being a mother, a dutiful wife, a housekeeper and at the same time a beautiful socialite. Daisy decision to remain with Tom despite her feelings for Gatsby is an indication that her gender restricted her achievement of the American dream. What is really important is that every person has the opportunity to show their best and achieve their best in life.

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The American dream is simply a desire to be happy in life. But every person has a different background that makes their pursuit of happiness unique. America offers equality for everyone to have a chance for success and happiness in their lives. Differences in ethnicity, gender, and social status actually are benefits in achieving of the American dream.

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