The American Dream is all about ensuring equality among all citizens no matter the standard of living or the social class they belong since all are God’s creatures. Every individual has rights endowed to him/her and among these are rights to life, liberty and the pursuit to happiness. The American dream is real as it is stated in the Declaration of Independence so it is protected by this. The quote from the Declaration of Independence: that the government is holding the truth that all men are equal before God and they have unchangeable rights, and some of these rights are life, liberty and the ability to obtain happiness. To provide protection for these rights, the governments should offer equal opportunities to all men. The dream establishes the rights to slaves, women and non-property owners since they are the most unfortunate groups in society (Evridiki 2011, 15)
This paper aims at identifying how the American dream has been known throughout the whole world. Explanation on my understanding about the dream. Finding ways in which the dream differs for different groups and individual and how the people can achieve the American dream in their lifetime, the role of the government in ensuring that the dream is accessible to many people as possible. Identifying if there are some challenges and obstacles that might hinder the achievement of the American dream or if the dream has been attained already.
The American dream was first made known publicly to the whole world in 1931 by James Adams in his epic of America. In his writing he repeated often that the American dream is the dream of a state in which life has to be good and richer and fully lived by every individual with opportunity for each according to their ability to achieve. He continued with his explanation that the dream is not about possession of motor cars and getting high wages, but it is a dream of social relationship order where each man and woman should be able to attain the fullest personality morals and statures which they are capable to achieve and be recognized by other people for who they are regardless of the circumstances of their background “the dream is not all about possession of motor cars and high wages” (James 2011)
The American dream for the individuals to make choices that will enable them to reach success, it requires both political and economic freedom together with the rules of law and the rights to own property. This will enable individuals to have confidence in that whatever they put efforts to achieving cannot be violate or taken away from them through subjection to adverse conditions by force. The American dream also gives the freedom to make all kinds of decisions that may be affecting personal life. The freedom and possibility to work towards achieving better things that life offers to them, freedom to accumulate wealth from personal hard work and the ability to live a life full of dignity and be respected by other people. One of the examples towards attaining the American dream is the ownership of a home. This is an indication to financial success and independence and the ability to be in charge of one’s property instead of being subject to the payment of rent to the landlord. There is also the aspect of owning one’s business and being one’s own boss as a form of American dream fulfillment (Evridiki 2011, 67).
Robert Putnam describe that there is an increase disparity in relation to social classes in America over the recent decades. He found out that children from well off families enjoy life as they benefit from a stable family with both parent offering them support and meeting their needs both basic and luxurious. Their parent have long ago heavily invested in their growth and development, positive social background and economy knowledge has been created in them. On the other hand their counterpart children from poor and low working class families lives around an increasingly poverty stricken parents, the absence of role model to guide them from the adults and they end up in an economy with less well-paying jobs available for them since to only afford to acquire low levels of education dictated by the ability of their parents. “Children from wealthy families enjoy the benefits of stable two parents who invest on their development but…” Therefore there is no point the two groups can match, the rich will remain rich and poor will continue being poor (Simon and Schuster, 2004).
Nick Caraway from Middle –West, is that he does not take part in believing about the American dream in any way as he considers it not to be a reality to be achieved since it the government that still promote inequality and democracy is not followed. “I don’t share about the idea of American dream.” Those in authority uses their powers to trample on other people’s rights and are only concerned with their lives and their families forgetting the ordinary people. Despite of his disbelieve he is still striving to achieve the best in his life by himself having self-confident that he is objective and reliable to make his own dreams come to a realization. His dream mainly consist of mental values, of pursuing honesty and integrity with high moral standards. He has a belief in himself as being an honest person he ever know (Simon 2004, 89).
Carol Hostetter, Sabrina Williamson and Leila Wood in their study among the young people about their belief in American dream they found the confidence in the dream has eroded drastically over the recent decades to date as compared to how it used to be in the past decade. “The confidence in the American dream among people has eroded drastically.” In the recent decades a young person can go up to the university level in her/his academic level but it is not automatic that the life has changed there are still challenges of seeking for job opportunities even after hard work at school. The high-school children had the feelings that being wealth is not a ticket of happiness and anyone who lack the opportunity of being rich might in some situation have an advantage of character building. The group tend to think that wealth can only make people happy generally because they can afford to acquire material goods and be able to satisfy their needs and provide their children a secure life. The ability to have all sorts of material possession can enable them get the respect and attention from their peers and friends this is what many people desire in life. From this study it is clear that the young people have lost confidence in the American dream concerning the power of democracy and the faith of power of money in making someone happy and enjoy life to the fullest since there is no much improvements in the American dream. The forefathers of the ancient prepared a declaration to the congress stating the values that protect the society (Time Magazine, American Dream: A Biography, June 21, 2012.)
The American dream has not yet been attained though it was written in the independence constitution. This is because there is still inequality in all aspects of life from education not all children are able to access the formal education. The male and female are not subjected to the same condition and opportunities of jobs. The government role is to ensure that all human rights are protected as per the law. It should ensure that the funds are set aside for children’s education especially those from unable families (James 2011, 104)
From above explanations we have realized that the American dream of ensuring equity among all the citizens and respecting the rights of every individual especially those who are less fortunate in the society including the slaves, women and the poor has not been achieved. Focusing on gender equity men and women are not yet treated in the same in terms of promotions at work places, sexual harassments they are exposed to and nothing is done by those in authority, men are also offered more job opportunities than women. And the story still remain that women are to take care of the family, their children and the husband and not being given opportunities to participate in the development of the economy. There still exist the issue of racialism where non-white citizens are mistreated, they are also subjected to hard tasks for them to be able to earn their livings. Children from rich families can acquire high standard education as they can study in special institutions since their parents have invested for them and get good job immediately after school. While those from poor families can only afford low level education or no education at all due to lack of finances and may end up getting low jobs working under their counterparts from wealthy families (Evridiki 2011, 45).
There are also different views from different people about the American dream, the difference comes in that it depends on the level an individual is in terms of life experience and the social class they belong. For instance a person who has wealth and can satisfy his/her need will not be in a position to see that there are some people who are living below poverty level who do not benefit from the achievements in the country.
The American government has to take part for this dream to be achieved in that it should provide some funds which can be used to support the education of the children from poor families, creating more employment opportunities so that the young people may regain the confidence which they have lost for the American dream.
Simon. A and Schuster. M, Better together in restoring the American community, Harvard University press 2004.
James. T. A, The American dream epic, McGraw-Hill Education 2011.
Time Magazine, American Dream: A Biography, June 21, 2012.
Evridiki. T, The Government’s role in reaching American Dream. Publisher; Charles Kramer. 2011.