Game Shows And The American Dream

2115 Words9 Pages
Quan 1 Jun Quan
Dr. Joanne Hall
English 1
November 29, 2016
Game Shows and the American Dream
The American Dream, while well known by American-born residents and international students and/or immigrants alike, has become harder and harder to define as decades pass. In spite of becoming more ambiguous, the American Dream is still an accessible fantasy to both American citizens and those who want to become citizens. It is a major reason why international students choose to pursue education and careers in America, and why families choose to start new lives here. Nowadays, televised media, specifically reality television and game shows, are some of the most influential factors in shaping how the American dream is perceived; they shift Americans’
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“As Americans get farther away from the dream,” they write, “the more they begin to question what exactly the dream is and how is the dream is affecting today’s society as American society gradually slides into more debt and becomes more materialistic.” They argue that this change “allows a lack of work ethic, self-reliance, and responsibility.” While true, this implies that there is a “real” American Dream from which the American public has strayed. In reality, the American Dream has simply become re-defined to fit contemporary social standards. Second, the change they’re describing began long before the rise of game shows and reality television. In “The American Dream Still Exists,” Matthew Warshauer notes that “The aftermath of World War II exacerbated the ethical shift as a consumer culture blossomed and Americans became preoccupied with material…show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which cynically depicts the American Dream and highlights some truths that still apply—for example, the false equation of wealth to happiness and satisfaction, as well as the illusion of equal opportunity. Analyzing The Great Gatsby is useful in clarifying essential traits of the American Dream, which we can later use in our evaluation contemporary articulations of it. The novel is about Jay Gatsby, a man who has risen to wealth and is well-known for his extravagant parties. Though the novel, published in 1925, took place before modern media and advertising, it still depicts characters that have fallen for what Diane Kendall, in “Framing Class, Vicarious Living, and Conspicuous Consumption,” calls a “socially constructed reality that is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the United States.” The “socially constructed reality” in which the cast of The Great Gatsby lives—geographically, New York in the 1920’s—is characterized by an obsession with wealth and success despite an immense poverty gap that was steadily widening. Though often referred to as the “gilded age” in American history, the 20’s
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