The American Dream has changed over the years, but it has always been a matter of the realistic opportunity to obtain it that has made it a lasting legend. It is difficult to say what the American Dream really is because it can mean different things to different people. However, there are some basic ideas about what it is that are general, broad goals that people might set for themselves. The concept of rising up from having nothing and then to somehow or another have everything, to be rich and famous is a dream for many people. Another much more down-to-earth dream is to want to raise a family in a nice little house with a white picket fence on a quiet little street. Whatever the dream may be for a person, it is always in the back of their mind, driving them forward, giving them a sense of purpose, and giving them hope.
People sometimes wish that they could be famous for a day, or have money or power. Even if a person already has a decent life, they dream of that lifestyle that seems out of reach, but at the same time is always right there. The feeling of being on top of the world is a tremendous surge of adrenaline and happiness. Little bits of it are felt by normal everyday people, but the illusion that the feeling would never end if they were famous inspires many to search for a way to obtain that fame. The American Dream to come to America, or grow up in America, and have the chance to become rich with hard work and perseverance is much more practical, but is not as attractive as instant stardom. It is human nature to want to be popular and remembered long after you are gone, rather than to work hard and to be forgotten before you leave.
Another possible American Dream that is less tempting, but more stable than the first is to raise a family in a perfect American setting. The two-story house in the quiet suburbs with a white picket fence and beautiful little garden. The two kids and the family pet (dog or cat depending on the particular person’s preference). The two-car garage with one minivan and one midsize sedan. It all begins to sound overused, outdated, and unrealistic, but by following the path towards this dream one is likely to stumble upon a place where they feel safe and loved. To allow your children to take advantage of the opportunities America offers can be just as fulfilling for a parent as being famous, rich, or powerful possibly could be.
In conclusion, there is no single American Dream, but there are a couple basic dreams that many people share and feel are within reach in America. The allure of fame and fortune attracts all kinds of people to try to attain this full form of lifestyle, but not everyone can be so lucky as to achieve it. On the other hand, if one’s dream is to be content with what they have and to live in the upper middle class of America with a family, then they are less likely to be disappointed. As Americans, we are always entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The American Dream does not promise happiness or wealth, it simply allows a person to pursue it, whatever it may be to them.