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Huck Finn’s American Dream

To everyone the specifics of their American Dream are different, but overall it all gets to one point…happiness; it does not matter how you get there. Even in the 1880’s happiness was the American dream. There is a definite difference in the way happiness is found today from when The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written, but the overall idea of the dream stayed the same.

It seems like the American dream today could be money, because almost everyone wants more of it, but that is not completely true. The purpose of money would be to pay off bills and live comfortably, which could be considered living happy. But, money isn’t everything, having your family live without troubles and having a good relationship with family also leads to happiness. It’s amazing that over 50 percent of marriages today end in divorce. There are also children that have to deal with the divorce, and no one wants that for a kid. Without happiness today, you can not have the complete American Dream.

Of course, the way to get to happiness begins with freedom. When you have the freedom, you also have the opportunity, and with the right choices, you can advance in life and be happy. It seems like you may want to advance and not go anywhere, but with time, you will. You may never be satisfied with your advancement, or you may not get the opportunity to advance, which could be a reason why you might not be happy and therefore not reach the American Dream. Overall, it takes a sequence of events that has to deal with freedom, the right choices, and opportunity to create the American dream.

The book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has a completely different way to get to the American Dream. The idea of the dream still begins with freedom and ends with happiness, but the steps to get there are a lot different because of the time period. When Huck talked how happy he was with Jim, it was apparent that the freedom and lack of rules and authority made him happy (p. 39, 40). That is Huck’s American Dream. Jim’s American Dream is slightly different, because he is a slave. For the most part, his dream is gaining his freedom from bondage, equality, and the ability to have a family and be considered a person, all of which would make him happy. This is apparent when he is dreaming of his family and wishing he wasn’t a slave. Just being able to stay with the family he was with instead of being traded to New Orleans would have made him happy (p. 43). Maybe the American dream hasn’t changed as much as you might think since the 1880’s.

The general idea of the American dream hasn’t changed in over 100 years. Although it may seem like people want objects (money, houses, cars) its really just happiness they are looking for. Once a person finds happiness in all aspects of life, they usually have found their dream, even if that dream isn’t what they expected. In the end, it all ends at the question: what is YOUR American Dream?