The American Dream in Contemporary America Persuasive Essay by Nicky

A discussion on what the American Dream means today.
# 149826 | 1,516 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 02, 2012 in Sociology (General)

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The paper looks at the definitions of the American Dream that began with the Founding Fathers and was embodied in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The paper then discusses how we are in a dire economic situation and recession today and the root cause of it all is due to how most people saw the American Dream to be material wealth and possessions. The paper addresses society's trend of consumption and asserts that instead of having worked hard, spent less and saved for a rainy day, some Americans now keep putting the blame on others. The paper argues that the American Dream means freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear, with conspicuous consumption and greed nowhere in the picture. The paper asserts that if one can live within one's means and be content, then he is truly living the American Dream.

From the Paper:

"It has often been said that "perception is reality" whereby how one sees something as being real becomes indeed real for that person despite others seeing it as "unreal." Thus, the reality of any idea, concept or thinking for that matter depends on the interpretation of a person or a group. One group's or one person's interpretation may differ from that of another. The case in point on this issue is the expression "one man's terrorist is another man' freedom fighter." To each his or her own rings true indeed. In looking at the American Dream, John Truslow Adams wrote several decades ago (The Epic of America, 1931): "Each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized be others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." Going by the basic tenets of Adams words, he never mentioned there of untold riches, fabulous fame, economic mobility, power of political office or a promise of all the material things in life. What is true in Adam's words is that the American Dream is a dream of achieving one's defined goal thorough merit - by achieving the goal through one's efforts. Then again this paper contains just one person's perception or interpretation of what the American Dream is all about."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adams, Don and Arlene Goldbard. "New Deal Cultural Programs: Experiments in Cultural Democracy." Webster's World of Cultural Democracy. 1995. 16 July 2009. <>.
  • Kamp, David. "Rethinking the American Dream." Vanity Fair. Apr. 2009. 16 July 2009. <>.
  • Hughes, Langston. Let America be America Again. 1938. 16 July 2009. <>.
  • Warshauer, Matthew. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Changing Conceptions of the American Dream." American Studies Today Online. 13 Feb. 2003. 16 July 2009. <>.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The American Dream in Contemporary America (2012, January 02) Retrieved December 08, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The American Dream in Contemporary America" 02 January 2012. Web. 08 December. 2022. <>