The "American Dream"

Essay by sweetpea76834High School, 10th grade January 2005

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

What does American Dream really mean? The answer to this question depends on whom is being asked. Someone born and raised in America, knowing no other way of life is going to feel differently about this subject than someone who has lived in a third-world country his or her entire life. Most Americans take advantage of the conveniences that are afforded them, yet a fairly large amount doesn't appreciate the fact that not every country has such amenities.

In almost every house within the United States, there is clean water, waste management, a source of heat and electricity. Through an American's eyes, these things are not viewed as being an extravagance; they are looked at as a necessity. It is just understood that these things will be there when needed, and is not even given a second thought.

An immigrant coming from a poor country would not feel the same way about these "essential" items.

To them, these utilities are viewed as an incredible luxury. They would never have dreamed of having these things available in just the flick of a switch. To those living in poor countries without these facilities, life in the United States seems almost unreal. So many people from other countries strive to live in the United States, looking for a more hopeful future. They want to be governed safely and treated fairly under the United States' Declaration of Independence.

Within this proclamation, it is stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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." Within this phrase, it is claimed that no matter who you are or what you look like, happiness can be found through equality.

Though the United States conveys this image with its principles of democracy, within the country it is not felt to be the same case. Within the United States, many of its citizens are being discriminated against. It seems as though they are constantly at battle, fighting to gain respect from others. Citizens of an ethnic background are singled out, and struggle to gain status both economically and politically. As much as it would like to be though that the United States is completely fair, it still has its injustices.

These are still minor problems in comparison to the ones third-world countries face. Worrying about being treated nicely is nothing in comparison to struggling for life. Americans wonder what they are going to get for lunch where as people in other countries question whether they will even be able to eat anything at all that day. The reason Americans take the United States for granted is because they don't truly understand suffering.

People from third-world countries have suffered their entire lives, often with nothing to look forward to. For those who have immigrated to the United States, in comparison to where they formerly lived, the United States is heaven sent. They can work hard for their dreams and get where they want to be. The American Dream is nothing more than how it is perceived. To those who have suffered greatly through life, it is an inspirational thought. To those who have never truly experienced poverty, it is much less glorified and respected. The American Dream is a guiding light for those who need it most, leading the way to a brighter and better future.