The Importance Of The American Dream In Our Town By Thornton Wilder

2198 Words 9 Pages
In the twentieth century, an ideal known as the American Dream became the quest of many Americans. The American Dream is "an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity" (“American Dream”). Material prosperity is the main element of the American Dream that was stressed in the twentieth century, as Mr. Webb in Our Town so accurately points out. “Seems like they spend most of their time talking about who’s rich and who’s poor" (Wilder Act 1). This emphasis on wealth adversely affected the attainability of the American Dream. The American Dream as it is presented in twentieth century American literature is unreachable and unrealistic in the literature itself and in history, unless one creates one 's own meaning of the American Dream. The ownership of a house can be the first and foremost symbol of wealth, which is the major goal of the American Dream. “Over the course of the …show more content…
In Our Town by Thornton Wilder, the tale of Emily Webb and George Gibbs in the ordinary town of Grover’s Corners, the American Dream is outlined as one of love and acceptance. “Wilder 's version of the American dream, as well as a parable about how to attain it, lives in Our Town… In Wilder 's interpretation, the American dream represents that need for acceptance; in achieving the American dream, one is appreciated, valued, and respected, even loved” (“Our Town” Literary Themes for Students: The American Dream 428). Through this new definition of the American Dream, ordinary people in an ordinary town under ordinary circumstances are able to achieve this national aspiration, whereas with the typical definition that stresses monetary wealth there were many more disappointments. Wilder’s innovative American Dream is more relatable because of the likelihood of its achievement and its integration into the ordinary

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