My, , Interpretation of the American Dream
What is the American Dream? This is the question I asked myself over and over again as I am sure everyone else was doing when they sat down to punch out this essay on their keyboards. But when I thought about what my answer could be, I couldn’t settle on one specific thing. I decided that it was because the American Dream can be so many different things, it just depends on what perspective I look at it from. I narrowed it down three ways; there is the American Dream in the broad sense of just being in America, there is the American Dream from the perspective of a female, and then there is the American Dream that I experienced growing up as a child in America.
In the broad sense, I thought of the American Dream as obtaining freedoms. I put myself in the shoes of someone coming to America to live the American Dream and tried to imagine all of the things I would be looking forward to that would change once I arrived. It is all of the freedoms that came to my mind that I would dream to live. It is the right to choose what job or profession I will pursue. The American Dream is the ability to choose what religion, if any, I will follow. The dream is to live in a society where I choose who leads me and I have the power to vote against any representatives who do not take action on issues I find important.
Looking at the American Dream from the perspective of my sex, I saw things in a whole new light and my thoughts went in a totally different direction. The American Woman’s Dream is to be a successful businesswoman not restricted by my sex. It is the dream to manage a career and raise a family with high values and morals. It is having the right to choose whether I want to get married or stay single and still get respect from my peers and society. As a female, I see the feminist American Dream as the breakdown of our patriarchal society replaced instead by men and women in a mutually respecting relationship working together without racial or sexual tensions.
The American Dream that is even more personal to me, however, is the one I experience growing up here in America. That dream is the ability to move from being part of a dirt-poor family to being a highly successful one. This American Dream is that I am not restricted to one economic or social class. I have the opportunity to fail and succeed, to move from lower class, to middle class, to upper class, and possibly back down again based on my successes and failures. As a child growing up in a family with no money, I had the first hand experience to see this is possible. I watched as my parents worked hard to become successful and move up in the tax brackets based on how hard they tried. They lived the American Dream of starting their own “mom and pop” business and succeeding to move up in the class structure of our society.
Though not all of you may agree or relate to these ideas I view as parts of the American Dream, from my experiences it includes freedoms unrestricted by race, sexuality or class rankings. The American Dream is not static or unchanging, more accurately it is something fluid that constantly depends on where we are in life and what perspective we are coming from.