The American Dream Essay

1434 Words Dec 7th, 2016 6 Pages
As a foreign citizen, it is difficult not to be enchanted by the romanticised ideal of the ‘American Dream’. For me, the American Dream can be summed up by three aspects: ‘a land of endless opportunities’ in a ‘classless society’ where ‘anything can be achieved if you work hard enough’. However, after exploring the concept further, it appears that those definitions are no longer valid. Thoreau’s Walden, penned in 1854 as a recount of his departure from ‘civilisation’, shows us the fallacy of working hard to improve your quality of life, only to have to work harder to emulate it. Ehrenreich’s struggles in Nickel and Dimed, published at the turn of the millennium, highlights the severe lack of opportunities that millions of Americans have access to. Finally, any remnants of hope towards the notion of an equal and classless society are utterly dispelled by Tirado’s article on This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense. Historical and contemporary historians have long refuted the American Dream, yet its power and allure still endures today. Nowadays the American Dream no longer pretends to be a tangible dream; it acts as a buttress for the most vulnerable in U.S. society, enabling them to find hope and inspiration when all else seems lost. Many aspects of transcendentalism, self-sufficiency and personal liberty, helped formulate and popularise the ‘American Dream’. Henry David Thoreau achieves to some extent the Dream. His vision was a life of simplicity, where…

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