“The American Dream is, part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living, but a good living.”
What is the American Dream? The American Dream is simply a myth. It’s not possible for a growing population of six billion people to act in the way that Americans have come to expect. The Earth cant take it. It is impossible for everybody to struggle to get whatever they visualize and the final product be a superior life for everybody. The American Dream is an illusion. Yet, we still believe we can make that Dream a reality, so we do whatever it takes to obtain it, creating “a great deal of crime and violence.” The movie A Simple Plan, the New York Times article When Money is Everything Except Hers by Dirk Johnson, and the autobiographical essay Daddy Tucked the Blanket by Randall Williams, all exemplify the crime and violence created because people feel that the country owes them not only a living, but a good living.”
If the title of the movie A Simple Plan could be changed, I would call it the American Dream in a Gym Bag. Everything about that movie has to do with the American Dream, in other word, money. The movie takes place in the woods of Minnesota, where three men come across a plane that had crashed. Not only did they find a corpse in the plane, they also found a gym bag with over four million dollars in it. They had found the America Dream. Now that dream was not going to come that easy, because the three men didn’t agree on what to do with the money. All of them were for keeping it, but only one of them got to keep it. The plan was to keep the money until spring when the snow melted and they found the plane, after that, they would see what happened and then split the money if everything went well, meaning that no one was looking for the money. It may sound like a simple plan but the three men eventually started disagreeing and mistrusting one another. Something that started out so !
beautiful, finding the American Dream “in a goddamn gym bag,” lead to murder. Six people died as a result of this money. The saddest thing is that no one got to enjoy the money at the end. So of course “The American Dream is, part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living, but a good living.” None of these people would have died if that money was never found. These people were willing to turn into murderers in order live with money. The idea of the American Dream is drilled into our heads from the first day, so we will do anything to be a part of it! People will fall into the hands of money, greed and power and get involved in illegal activities to get where they want and what they want.
The article When Money is Everything, Except Hers is all about the fact that “without money, is to be left out.” Wendy Williams is a thirteen year old girl who lives “on the wrong side of the tracks,” because she doesn’t have a lot of money. At her school, a typical discussion you would hear in the halls would be about clothing, expensive computer toys, vacations etc. Wendy cant fit in, she cant afford to. If she wants to be involved in a school sports team, fees have to be paid. Wendy is not living the American Dream like the other students are, and because of that dream she is subject to violence. One morning she was sitting on her school bus and a boy who wanted her seat demanded that she gave it to him and then he called her a “trailer girl.” She asked a girl where she got her shirt because it was nice and the girl just laughed at her while giving her an evil look and told her: “Why would you want to know?” She was nicknamed rabbit because she couldn’t afford to go to an o!
rthodontist. This is violence, this is harassment. “The American Dream is, part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence.” Wendy’s father is a welder and her mother is a cook, they are trying to raise their daughter in an environment that is filled with harassment. Even though Wendy is getting the same education as a girl from a $300,000 house, she is still taunted and will grow up to think that money is the most important thing. This will lead Wendy to do anything to have money, because she will want a piece of the Dream. One time a teacher asked Wendy to join an advanced algebra class, and she said no, the reason being that she didn’t want to be picked on because of her clothes and for being a nerd too. This is tragic because she is a girl with potential, someone who tries hard, and yet, she cant advance, society wont let her. One time at school a boy was teasing Wendy because her clothes didn’t match, so she “kicked him in the shins,” ending up in detention. She !
learned that the teasing wouldn’t stop and that that hurting people wouldn’t make it stop either. She is suffering, she doesn’t deserve all the persecution, and none of this would happen if this notion of the American Dream didn’t exist.
The autobiographical essay Daddy Tucked the Blanket tells a tragic story of a boy, Randall, who was ashamed of his house. He was so embarrassed at the conditions he was living in with his family that he managed for four years without ever having a friend visit his house. No matter how much money his dad made, they never moved up the social ladder, so the houses didn’t really get better. “It really is hell to live in a house that was in bad shape 10 years before you moved in.” Randall lived in a house filled with people, he wasn’t the only son. His siblings and him got along but as they got older it was harder living in such a tight space. The relationship between the brothers was never strained, but the relationship of the parents was. Over the years, with all the stress from never having enough money, their marriage was ruined because they had “no one to yell at but each other.” In other families, kids got the abuse so in that sense Randall was lucky. The violence is felt he!
re because of the lack of money. Its not physical violence, but emotional and mental, violence fueled by the American Dream. “Small children have a hard time understanding poverty,” and this didn’t exclude Randall. He would wonder why couldn’t he have the things the other kids had. One time in particular, when he was going to school in Alabama, the class was sharing their christmass presents. When it was Randall’s turn, he said that what he got was a belt and a pair of gloves. After he said thatm he was laughed at because he cried. This is mental abuse, this type of situations have an impact on kids lives. When this incident happened, Randall wanted to die. “The American Dream is, part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living, but a good living.” Its so clear, money equals power, and this poor boy had none.
The idea of the American Dream make the morals and values of society decay as seen with the three examples given. We live in a society with money obsessed values, and people fall into the hands of money, greed and power and get involved in illegal activities to get where they want and what they want. There’s the American Dream, the one that “is, part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living, but a good living.”