A life of freedom, equality, and opportunity, more commonly known as the American Dream, motivates people every day to achieve personal happiness and material comfort. John Winthrop, Judith Sergeant Murray, and Ben Franklin encouraged this lifestyle by writing to the people of the United States explaining in their own way how this utopian lifestyle can be achieved. Winthrop “A Model of Christian Charity’ was written on board the Rubella on the way to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
He inspired the people by saying that If they united In love, they would e blessed by God and have the power to Impact the world. Murray “On the Equality of Sexes” sparked controversy as It shone a light on how women were treated In society and education. She Is one of the first at the time to speak about the Intelligence of women and the potential they could have If treated as equals to men. Franklins “The Way of Wealth” emphasizes the Importance of thrift and warns against living a sloth-like life. The American Dream can be achieved through love, equality, and hard work.
Love and unity are what create the American Dream according touch Winthrop. He quotes the Bible throughout “A Model of Christian Charity to prove that this lifestyle of giving and loving is the only way to achieve a utopian society. Matthew 7:12 says, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye the same to them 70). This verse, more commonly known as the Golden Rule, exhibits the main theme throughout Winthrop sermon. Winthrop believes that if the people unite in love, then they will be able to change the world in a positive manner.
He says, “This love is a divine, spiritual nature free, active, strong, courageous, permanent; undervaluing all things beneath its proper object; and of all the graces, this makes us nearer to resemble the virtues of our Heavenly Father” (174). By promoting love and generosity, the people can achieve personal happiness. Winthrop believes that despite the differences in socioeconomic status amongst the people, the Lord will unite everyone to create a superior society that people all around the world will look up to.
This type of faith that Winthrop exhibits is exactly what has motivated people In the United States to pursue the American Dream. However, love for everyone Anton be achieved without equality amongst men and women. Education and equality for women will make the nation greater by giving everyone the opportunity to succeed. One of the first to lead the way in equality for women, Murray takes a stand for the women that are unappreciated and undervalued. She believes that education is the key to success. She says, “They rob us of the power teleprompter, And then declare we only trifles love” (740).
This quote shows how men do not allow women to have a higher education, yet they still think they have the right to all women Ignorant. She becomes the voice for the voiceless by being one of the few women that had access to education. Murray argues that women are not only Just as smart as men, but that It Is the education system that disallows women the opportunity to broaden their minds and enhance their education. Murray says. “The increase the sister must be wholly domesticated, while the brother is led by the hand through all the flowery paths of science” (741).
Without equality and education, the American Dream could not be possibly reached. Along with Winthrop, Murray also sees God to prove her point. She says, “He is manifested as the figure of strength, but that we may not regard him as any thing more than a figure, his soul is formed in no sort superior, but every way equal to the mind of her who is the emblem of weakness and whom he hails the gentle companion of his better days” (747). Murray emphasizes that God made everyone in His image, so everyone should be treated equally. Love and equality, along with hard work and thrift can strengthen a nation.
Although love and equality are important, the American dream cannot be achieved without hard work and thrift, as emphasized by Franklin. Along with Winthrop and Murray, Franklin uses God to prove his point. He says, “God helps them that helps themselves” (458). Diligence is crucial for a successful life. Franklin emphasizes this by saying, “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears” (458). Lethargic lifestyles will actually be more tiresome than active, exciting lives. He explains that the benefits of hard work will result in far greater pleasure than the benefits of living an easy, yet boring life.
A constant theme throughout this work is, There are no gains without pains” (459) which highlights Franklins main idea that working hard leads to success. Franklin reiterates this idea of hard work as a lifestyle, along with the idea that thriftiness will lead to success. He says, “Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse; O’er fancy you consult, consult your purse” (461). All the hard work that it took to become wealthy could be wasted if it is all spent on clothes and appearance because those things do not matter. Franklin pushes the idea of upward social mobility through hard work which is a main theme of the American Dream.
The American Dream can only be achieved through unity, equality, and perseverance. Winthrop, Murray, and Franklin use God to persuade people how to accomplish the goal of living the dream. These three writers shape the ideas of the American Dream by emphasizing that success can be achieved by all people because of diligence and desire, regardless of their social class or gender. Winthrop and Murray believed in the idea of love, unity, and equality to create a prosperous nation, while Franklin considers diligent labor and thrift to be the keys to success.