The Myth of Individualism

Topics: Social class, Working class, Capitalism Pages: 4 (1193 words) Published: November 23, 2011
The Myth of Individualism

America is famous for the reputation of being the land of opportunity, and for generations immigrants have fled to the United States to experience the freedom and equality our government lays claim to. The fundamental of this reputation is the American Dream, the belief that life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each by hard working regardless of social class or circumstances of birth(by James Truslow Adams). The American Dream is different for everyone, though it is most commonly associated with success, freedom, and happiness. The concept of the American Dream seems to have dwindled from where it was in the past few generations. It has gone from success, freedom, and happiness to having lots of money and the nicest possessions. Also, it is believed to be blind to race, sex, or socio-economic status. In today’s society we all hope and strive for this dream, but how many actually achieve the American Dream? Is it a reasonable goal that Americans should strive for, or is it a myth that only leads to self-destruction? Repeated examples and statistics of the lower-classes, those continually facing the harsh reality that opportunity and equality are empty promises, only prove the opposite. The countless stories of failure to reach the American Dream significantly override the few success stories that keep the myth alive. However, these few success stories keep Americans, as well as the rest of the world, believing in the false opportunities the American Dream puts forth.

For generations, Americans have been led to believe that the American Dream is realistic. Perhaps the American Dream can only be a myth to the lower classes. According to Maria La Ganga in her article “Tent City, USA,” many former owners of the American dream are living the American nightmare in the tent city, struggle to stay clean and fed. In the same vein, those who attempt to disprove the American Dream are...

Cited: Terkel, Studs. "Stephen Cruz." Rereading America. Eds. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford/ St.
Alger, Horatio. “From Ragged Dick.” Rereading America. Eds. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston: Bedford/ St.
Ganga, Maria La. "Tent City." Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles] 26 Mar. 2009. The Standard. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. .
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