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American Dream Essay

  • Submitted by: haingo36
  • on October 21, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 736 words

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Below is an essay on "American Dream" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“The American Dream”
What does it mean to be Americans? A simple question but difficult to answer. I remember in March 2012, TIME magazine featured an unprecedented photograph of thirty-six undocumented young people on its cover with the title: "We are Americans. Just not legally" (Vargas). Being in the United States without authorization is not a crime, but rather a civil offense for the country that has so many undocumented residents. To me, what it means to be an American goes beyond people’s place of birth or the documents they have.

Living in the United States nearly five years, I come to realize that Americans are hard-working people and hold many dreams. Some of those dreams can be reached, some cannot. Some Americans dream of riches, some dream of curing diseases. Most of their dreams are from the heart. People dream of having a family with healthy kids. These could be called “American Dreams,” something that humanity wonders about. There are many different definitions of the American Dream. However, the American Dream embraces a sight of respective prosperity, personal safety, and personal liberty. The American dream is a continually fluctuating set of ideals, reflecting the ideas of an era. In the early eighteenth century, the American dream was about freedom, equality and fairness as Thomas Jefferson stated in The Declaration of Independence (Perkins 259). In the nineteenth century, “American Dream” got in a way perverted and turned into a total grubbing for material possessions - the big house, the ever increasing standard of living. When we think of the American Dream today - the ability to rise from rags to riches through hard work - we are usually thinking of the model set forth by Franklin in his Autobiography. Franklin evaluated the possibilities of life in the New World through his own rise from the lower middle class as a youth to one of the most admired men in the world in the opening: "Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity...

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