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What is the American Dream? - Essay 2

  • Date Submitted: 03/21/2010 11:26 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.9 
  • Words: 600
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K**** K*******
Mrs. ****
Composition 101
2 February 2010

What is the American Dream?
The Preamble of the Declaration of Independence characterizes the American dream as ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.   That is precisely what the American dream is at its core.   What has changed over time is how we achieve or attempt to achieve the dream.  
In colonial times, the American dream was thought as for one to become successful, famous, and rich through hard work and by managing your money well.   The dream evolved and took on a darker tone after America became more industrialized in the 19th and 20th centuries.   No longer did people envision success through hard work and thriftiness but rather through a ‘get rich quick’ philosophy.   The dream has remained at this standpoint but the methods for achieving success are ever changing.   Today people are most likely to attempt the American dream through one of three methods: television game shows with big payouts (i.e. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), the lottery, or frivolous lawsuits seeking excessive compensation.   The irony is, of course, that all of these have incredibly low success rates.   Comedian George Carlin once commented on the American dream during one of his shows by stating that “it’s called the American dream ‘cause you have to be asleep to believe it.”1
I believe that the American dream has two parts.   We all know about fame, success, and wealth or at least the latter two.   The second part is getting married, becoming a parent and raising a family because with all of this success, who is to carry on my legacy?   Or, perhaps, to mooch off of it as will likely be the case with my wife.  
All of these can be attained through hard work, though by itself it will not be enough.   My mother taught me that one of the most powerful tools that I can acquire and use in my quest for success is having a large network of friends, acquaintances, and especially professional contacts.   Not only that, but...

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