The American Dream By James Truslow Adams

1977 Words8 Pages
The American Dream first popularized as a phrase in 1931 when James Truslow Adams wrote his book The Epic of America. In this book he defined the dream:
“…that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. …It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” (Adams 404)
Seeking this dream was commonplace long before the term ‘The American Dream’ was invented. In fact, it can be found rooted in the Declaration of Independence; "all men are created equal" and everyone has the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This is the basis of what we know now as the American Dream, although it has evolved many times. Since the foundation was laid, the American Dream has changed from a dream of freedom of religion, to a dream of racial equality, to a dream that now seems to revolve around success, money, and material goods. Throughout literature this dream is a common underlying theme. In several of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels, the American Dream, or rather the failure of achieving the American Dream, is a very big component of the plotline. Fitzgerald wrote often about this failure, and we can connect this to his
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