The Perfect Home : The American Dream Essay

1172 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
World War II gave Americans an unprecedented era of economic growth, prosperity, and happiness, so it seemed. Everyone desired the perfect life, with the perfect family, in the perfect home: the American Dream. The ultimate goal was to meet the love of your life, get married young, move to the suburbs (which you could surprisingly afford after the economic boom) and start popping out babies. The perfect home was a well kept one, always clean and containing the newest, shiniest appliances to a housewife’s delight. The perfect family was a married, heterosexual couple with two or three well-behaved children; the father’s duties were to go to work and be the breadwinner while the mother stayed home to make bread. The perfect life was pretending that this ‘perfect lifestyle’ was in fact a dream come true. During the 1950’s this level of conformity was the social norm; there wasn’t room in popular culture for those who didn’t have this cookie-cutter lifestyle. Eventually, this style of living like clones and robots sparked a rebellion. John Updike, author of the short story “A & P”, encompasses the theme of conformity and rebellion perfectly packaged within the main character, Sammy. Sammy is just a teenage boy who sees the world passing by him; he’s just another person trying to conform and be what society wants him to be. One day, three girls walk into his store and show him what it’s like to break the rules. They indirectly teach him about freedom, how to escape from the…

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