Comparing The American Dream In 'The Way To Wealth'

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In The Way to Wealth, Benjamin Franklin uses slick phrasing and cute couplets to represent his rise from a large, working-class family. In his autobiography he teaches about self-betterment and improvement. Franklin is supposedly the American Dream in action: he rises from a working class family, working at a young age in a large family. By the end of his life, Franklin has had an illustrious career, including honorary degrees, diplomacy, and scientific success. Franklin may represent reality for some Americans, but many more have found this dream impossible to reach. Instead, the American Dream, is either out of reach or limited for virtually every American, represented even this way in American fictional works. Moderately well off, Thoreau decides to leave his life behind, living alone in a cabin separate from civilization. Thoreau He is only fulfilled after he stops paying taxes Henry David Thoreau represents a new attempt at fulfilling the American dream. He follows in the footsteps of Ralph Waldo Emerson, embracing transcendentalism and even staying at Emerson’s house to write. Thoreau calls for personal liberation and to embrace a connection with nature. In Baym’s introduction to Thoreau, before including Walden, she writes about the purpose of his essay:…show more content…
In John Ford’s 1940 film, a family of “Okies” moves to California in search of work. Forced from their home after generations, the Joad family assures themselves that they’ll find work, only to learn of wage slavery, poverty, and a lack of opportunities. They replace workers on strike at a labor camp, only to find out they are making less than they need to pay the general store for their supplies. Despite their hard work, they cannot ascend the American Dream’s figurative ladder: they both lose their home and can barely make ends meet, unable to save money because they make less than their basic necessities
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