The American Dream: It’s No Longer a Fairytale Essay

687 WordsDec 5, 20123 Pages
“The ‘American Dream’ is a phrase that we’ll have to wrestle with all our lives, and on and on to our children’s lives,” says Rita Dove, a former Poet Laureate. What exactly was the “American Dream”? Think way back to the days of immigration in the early 1900’s: everyone dreamed of a greater life, and they finally had the freedoms to achieve it. Now, if you fast forward to modern day, we begin to ask ourselves if this dream even exists anymore. When European immigration to the United States was at its peak in the early 1900’s, everyone had a dream they wanted to peruse when they came to America. People were optimistic and dreamed of finally having the freedom to achieve their goals by working hard. This was a time of prosperity for a lot of people, and the dream seemed to be achievable to people of all classes. The immigrants who came to America were able to have a new life, and it was one that they could have never imagined possible anywhere else. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the “American Dream” had started to change. Members of that society could only dream of being able to have enough money to put food on their tables and to have people who loved and cared about them. Most people during this time did not have much, and they had to work incredibly hard in order to get even the littlest of things. Most males had to work on ranches, and were never really able to even have a sense of companionship. Everyone wanted the ability to work for themselves and “live off the fatta the lan’” (Steinbeck). Some dreamed of even having a family. However, most people knew this was a wish that would probably never come true. The dream that George and Lenny had in Of Mice and Men was a good picture of what the “American Dream” represented during the 1930’s (Steinbeck). Back then the dream was hard to obtain. People worked extremely hard for the slightest chance at

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