My American Dream
It seems that so often the subject of economic standing and wealth, are said synonymously with the phrase “The American Dream”. It seems that it takes money to be happy and economic stature to be accepted; however, many people who fall into this trap out of ignorance will never achieve “The American Dream” they strive towards.
The cliché, “In America, you can be whatever you want,” always brings a smirk to my face. I am not a cynical person, but this just isn’t true. If I decided I wanted to be the star of the next Academy Award winning hit, no matter how much I “want” it, it is not guaranteed to happen. In defense, many people will argue that one shouldn’t take the remark so literally, that it just means that the avenue’s and highways to success exist, it is the person’s choice weather they take them or not; unfortunately, that is not the case.
In the Great Gatsby Nick Carroway explains his love as, “…it was full of money-that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbal’s song of it…”(127) Hundred’s of people start off with the Idea of becoming someone, and as their life progresses, they must completely adapt to a change of pace and ideas. How many people have gone out, and achieved the correct degrees, met the right people, been hired at the perfect job-only to be let go for a reason they could not have controlled. This is the Idea that I discussed on the first day of class. The idea of the Mesa being like the American dream, “You climb and climb, only to reach a plateau, that you will eventually fall over the other side of.”(first day notes)
To me the “American Dream” is not just a dollar sign, or desk nametag, but the ability to walk into a room or a home, and know that your presence is welcomed and looked forward to. The dream is realizing that in America, we have the resources to make an honest difference. Unfortunately there was no reading that really embodied my version of the American dream. The closest book that came to it was, Their Eyes Were Watching God, because Janie did eventually realize that their was so much more to life than money, status, and material things. When she returns home she says, “‘So Ah’m back home agin and Ah’m satisfied tuh be heah. Ah done been tuh de horizon and back and now Ah kin set heah in mah house and live by comparisons’”(182). This is how I feel about the American dream. Go as far as you like, try what you want, but realize home is always home. That is Why America is great, because you always have that place to call home.
My American dream has been unwavering since my youth. I find it easy to think of ways to place a metaphor on the dreams of others; however, it is difficult to find one for my own. I think to me, the American Dream is like A Family tree. Feel free to branch off, and grow as an individual. Become the best branch on that tree, and bear the best fruit if you want. You can even sprout seeds and grow a larger, better tree. No matter what, your roots will always be there, in that original tree, that original root.