The American Dream in The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse

1199 Words 5 Pages
In the United States there is an idea many pursue called the American dream, which differs from person to person. The American dream according to is “a revolutionary notion: each person has the right to pursue happiness, and the freedom to strive for a better life through hard work and fair ambition”. Yet it has been said there is no real definition of American dream, instead it merely proves that it has an unconscious influence in American mentality (Ştiuliuc 1). The American dream is different for each person because everyone yearns for things that will they hope will in return make them happy. Whatever that may be, each person goes through different struggles to obtain what they want. According to …show more content…
For example, “In rolling valleys of Elysian Park, my family lost their home in the Chavez Ravine to the cheers of gringos for a baseball team they stole from another town. Down hill in Echo Park, I lost my wife-and the woman I left her for…” (Skyhorse 1-2). Hector believes the American dream is his place in America or feeling of belonging, and he has lost more than he has gained in trying to obtain that. That is why many immigrants who are about to come to America to purse the dream think twice about it, “people usually weigh the benefits and costs” (Konya 2). He has hope that there is a home and space for him somewhere in Los Angeles, “…homes in such a starry multitude that I was confident there was one for me, and in that home there’d be enough space for my small life, and then hopes I’d bring back with me” (Skyhorse 24). The dream is not a matter of having a better life, but instead feeling one is belonging to American society and knowing you must lose to gain that. Efren Mendoza, a Mexican immigrant who now works as a bus operator for Los Angeles is a character who believes the American dream is obtainable only by working. He states, “The American Dream is there for the taking if you aren’t lazy and have no qualms about the kind of work you do” (Skyhorse 77). To Efren the dream is putting oneself out into the world and working one’s hardest to achieve a better life. It is conquering obstacles and making sacrifices while working hard to provide a better standard

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