The American Dream Essay

523 WordsDec 4, 20133 Pages
Poetry Essay: America in Peace, War, and Tribulation October 17, 2013 The American Dream The term the American Dream was coined by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America, in 1931. Adams spoke of a better, richer, fuller life for everyone through equal opportunity, ability, and hard work. He spoke of people being recognized by others for “what they are” regardless of their circumstances of birth or position. These lofty ideals are principles that America was founded on and were first codified in the second line of The Declaration of Independence which states, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, and Let America be America Again, by Langston Hughes, both speak powerfully to me of the American Dream. In The New Colossus Lazarus idealized the Statue of Liberty, which serves as an iconic symbol of freedom and the American Dream. In Let America… Hughes is disillusioned; yet hopeful that America can still be the promised land of Liberty. In The New Colossus Lazarus refers to the Statue of Liberty’s torch lighting “the golden door” which I believe signifies the gateway to prosperity or the American Dream. Lazarus strongly urges that Liberty is the symbol to all immigrants to come to America, “[f]rom her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome.” She invites those who are exiled, tired, poor, homeless, “tempest-tossed”, who are “yearning to breathe free”, to find welcome here. It is the epitome of the American Dream to immigrate here, to be accepted, and to become successful. In The New Colossus Lazarus has immortalized Lady Liberty as a worldwide symbol of freedom and the American Dream. Lazarus wrote and donated her poem, back in 1883, to raise money to build the base of the Statue

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