Over many generations, American immigrants have had a common theme. They all want to live their American Dreams. The American Dream is what happens when this happens. One may initially think that a suburban white family is content with mediocrity. But, if one examines closely, it becomes clear that the American dream is about people from all walks and trying to live a happy life. Happiness can be found in the people and possessions that surround one. Technology and media have made it easy for people to expect a high quality life. While some people are willing to do anything to achieve their dreams, others feel they already live it. Many Americans desire the American Dream. However, it is not possible for many people. This is due to economic and social adversity many Americans have to overcome.
Jay Gatsby is a Fitzgerald character. He is an example of someone willing to sacrifice everything for their American Dream. Gatsby created a completely new persona and gave up his previous life in order to have a relationship with a girl. (Fitzgerald at 180). Even though Gatsby had overcome poverty to become a successful socialite and was considered the pinnacle for success, he couldn’t quite achieve his goal. Gatsby fits perfectly the American stereotype of someone who has high standards and dreams. Daisy Buchanan is another character from The Great Gatsby. Daisy is more concerned about money than happiness, unlike Gatsby. Daisy is wealthy and materialistic so she easily realizes her “dream”. (Fitzgerald at 164). Daisy and others like her raise the question of where to go after you have achieved wealth. Do you think your dream is simply to keep your wealth? People seek the American Dream because they want freedom and prosperity. One hopes that by simply coming to America, they will be able to achieve all their dreams. Many people believe they will find unlimited wealth when they arrive in America. But, many people are wrong. American immigrants are often from places where there is little. Many believe that material possessions will bring them happiness. One may be surprised to find that you can still work your whole life and end up where you started. People born into poverty are less likely to rise above their socioeconomic status. “I was raised on this mountain/ She is my home/ They took all that she had and now they’re gone/ But this mountain is my home, I’ll be my last breath” (Earle 63). One may believe that America offers unlimited opportunities, but in reality success can be measured by happiness and not money. It’s difficult to make it work if you have nothing.
The American Dream is viewed from a modern perspective. People today seek happiness in material possessions and less in meaningful human interaction. Happiness was once found within the little pleasures of daily living. Craig Dahl and Heather Bean, who were raised in simpler times, have valuable insight into the challenges people face in achieving their goals. Today, many people believe that American dreams are about having millions of dollar and being on Stars magazine’s front page. However, technology has allowed them to do a lot at once. It makes your dream more difficult.” (Dahl The notion of living comfortably in middle-class life is almost dead. Modern technology has made it possible to be content with one’s life. One can easily lose sight on the real value of a meaningful conversation when one is in constant contact with people. Everyone is constantly texting and updating their Facebook statuses. It’s easy to lose sight of the real value of having a conversation with someone. People are always connected to an electronic device, so they don’t have face-to–face conversations. Technology has become a way for people to find happiness and to value human interaction more than ever before. This has had a profound impact on the American Dream’s ability to be realized.
The American Dream is difficult to attain these days. While it’s easier than ever to realize your dreams today than 100, there are still significant social and economic hurdles that must be overcome. People travel to America in hopes of finding unlimited wealth and luck. Instead, they find that hard work is required and that opportunities are limited. Americans are taught that material possessions are the key to happiness, but the American Dream really is living comfortably in a middle-class life. The media and technology lead us to believe that we require a luxurious life with little interaction. Americans have unrealistically high expectations and feel that they won’t ever achieve the American Dream. However, they actually live it.
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