The American Dream


What the “American Dream” means to me, and probably several thousand other people in this world, is
freedom. Most of the world, probably more than eighty percent, does not have the type of freedom we do.
Although the freedom of the United States of America is not so easy to attain. For many immigrants, it
takes years to attain residential status and be “free” to live and work in the US. In my family’s case, it took
us only 18 months to obtain allowance into the US and 4 years to be granted permanent residency. It was
an escape; an escape from the violence; an escape from the pressure; an escape to freedom. Being a
resident, I now have the privilege of going to a public school, living in an environment where children and
teenagers are able to speak out. My “American Dream” is probably quite different from a citizen’s version
which is most likely the stereotypical idea of owning one’s own house, with a white picket fence, two cars,
some money in the bank, a pretty wife, a!
nd 2.564876 kids. Oh, don’t forget the dog.

Many authors portray their characters as being after the “American Dream”. Such as “George” and
“Lenny”, from Of Mice and Men, who’s simple idea of the “American Dream” was working for
themselves, not working for another man, but owning their own farm with their own employees.

However, many authors also portray the “American Dream” as only a dream. One dream, that never comes
true. Although a simple dream, George and Lenny did not attain that dream, although they came close.
Something always has to go wrong, as in Of Mice and Men where Lenny has an “accident” and kills their
bosses wife causing Lenny to be “put down”, ruining George’s chances of obtaining the money to buy their
own piece of America.

Our Town had a different view of the “American Dream”. Instead of showing it before it happens, Our
Town shows the “American Dream” as it happens. Starting off, with of course birth, Our Town exposes
AnyTown life through its course. George, as a young man, became quite fond of Emily, the girl next door,
and they eventually married. His family gave George the “American Dream”. George’s uncle slowing
brought George into his farm, eventually leading up to George owning and running the farm.

Then there are those authors who show the “American Dream” as I see it, for freedom. In puritan America,
settlers come for religious freedom. In The Minister’s Black Hat, the minister was free to even punish
himself as he felt right something that may have been almost common in early America as opposed to
another country such as Egypt at the same era.

While a goal such as one’s own house, the kind with the white picket fence, may be the “American Dream”
for most, it is not the only kind out there, in fact the white picket fence and such are probably quite recent
(circa 1950?). Each author portrays the “American Dream” just a bit differently because we all have our
own ideas.