American Dream Essay

1170 WordsNov 23, 20115 Pages
Surviving Success To become an American success a person has to have the perfect life of money, luxury, family and work in the pre-civil war era; after the civil war people suddenly found that the people who had the best lives were the people who were the happiest. Not everyone looked upon happiness as being successful, but for most American’s happiness became more important than money or social standing like with Edna in The Awakening, the outcasts in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” Huck in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and even Rosicky in “Neighbor Rosicky,” though not all of them were successful in their attempts. The American success story has become mixed up in so many different representations that one definite success story is no longer known. Before the United States turned on itself in civil war the totality of success was in social standing and appearances taken from the British way of life. Money, family, and work were all incorporated into your appearance and if you pulled it off just so the society would find you most accomplished. That was all you needed to be one of the top persons around, no matter if you hated everything about your life down to the squeaky shoes you wore. After the horrors of the North fighting the South people began to re-evaluate exactly what mattered to them in their own lives. Suddenly the people who did what they really wanted and not what society expected of them were the ones who turned out happy and not hating life. Even though it took the elitists more time (some still refuse to believe that anything but money and how you are looked at matters) to accept this radical new theory, it started permeating throughout all American life. How the new success started to be defined was by taking the accepted norm and putting a slight twist on it. Kate Chopin does this in The Awakening. This book shocked many people

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