American Dream


American Dream Essay, Research Paper

Money and Success: The Myth of Individual Opportunity The American

Dream is different for everyone, though it is most commonly associated with

success, freedom, and happiness. The concept of the American Dream

seems to have dwindled from where it was in the past few generations. It has

gone from success, freedom, and happiness to having lots of money and the

nicest possessions. In today? society we all hope and strive for this dream,

but how many actually achieve the American Dream? Is it a reasonable goal

that Americans should strive for, or is it a myth that only leads to

self-destruction? Having a lot of money, a good job, and expensive

possessions are all characteristics of this American Dream. Even though,

many Americans seek to achieve all of these material possessions, how many

can say that they are truly happy, once they reach this goal? There is no

standardized description of being rich. Some people see money as the only

way of measuring how prosperous one is, but is money the only way to

achieve the American Dream? One can only have so much money. Even the

richest of the rich aren? satisfied with what they have, yet they strive to make

more and more money in order to live up to their dream. No mater how rich

or how much one owns there are always bigger and better things. In the story

?agged Dick,?Horatio Alger writes about a young man? progress from poor

background that searches for wealth. In this story Dick has gone from rags to

riches, immediately after his success he wants to move to a ?icer quarter of

the city?(312). But will this move satisfy his wants? Even though Dick is

moving to a better part of town, there will always be a place that? even better

than his. Another characteristic of the American Dream is to have a high

paying job with health benefits and stock options. In today? high tech society

we are seeing more and more people advancing to higher positions because

of the never-ending advances in technology. Standards in the workforce will

never be reached because there is always something new to be learned.

There is always a competitor waiting to take your place, so one must always

stay one step ahead in order to live up to today? fast paced society. Based

on my experiences of work, I try very hard to keep up with my job, attending

training classes, subscribing to technical magazines, and studying for technical

certifications to further advance my knowledge, even after all my training

there is still much to be learned. This constant struggle of improving job status

leaves one with little time to enjoy his or her success. It has been said that

Americans are no longer trying to keep up with the Joneses, but instead

looking at celebrities, and envisioning themselves with the same expensive

possessions. Americans today do in fact look at celebrities and long for their

lavish lifestyles, but also still do try and keep up with the Joneses. Ever look

at your neighbor? new car and want one of your own? It is very common to

see your neighbor pull in their driveway with a new Mercedes, then look at

your car and think of going and getting a nice new car that is comparable to

the Mercedes. We as Americans are never satisfied with what we have. The

American Dream is still alive, though it is not what it used to be. One can be

successful, have freedom, and be happy. But are they fulfilling their version of

the American Dream? Keeping up with the Joneses is still a part of our

everyday lives. Some of us may take it to further extremes than others, but

there will always be the desire to have something better than everyone else.

Society today tells us that we should have the best of everything if we don?,

we are of a lower class of people. We are sucked in by these beliefs because

we as Americans do not want to be shown up, and want to be part of the

higher class. Americans are always demanding more, while in

poverty-stricken countries people are just thankful for what they do have.

Maybe we as Americans should just be thankful for the opportunities that this

great country has to offer and live our OWN dreams.

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