The American Dream.

Essay by ClubcoleyHigh School, 12th gradeA+, June 2003

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So what is the American dream?

As you well know, we as a class early this term studied that exact subject. We defined it into words such as POWER, FREEDOM, LIBERTY, SUCCESS, WEALTH and to be NUMBER ONE.

The denotative meaning of the American dream is given in the Random House Dictionary: 1. The ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American. 2. A life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

The term was first used by James Adams in his book the Epic of America that was written in 1931. He states:

"The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is not a merely a dream of motor cars and high wages, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

And another quote, this time from Werner XI. "The belief that America should offer equal opportunity to all men is a fundamental part of the American dream."

Now you know what the American dream is, lets look at a poets reflection of the dream. James Langston Hughes, a black American, was born in 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. Raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen, Hughes showed early signs of his desire to explore the world outside of the one in which he had been born. Following his high school graduation, he spent a year in Mexico traveling and experiencing life and returning...