Essay about The American Dream Facade

2258 Words 10 Pages
If the American Dream had to be captured within a frozen image, how would the visualization be conveyed? For the majority of today's society, the image would likely include the traditional father, mother, and child(ren) standing pleasantly beside a moderate two story home, a well kept lawn, and neatly trimmed hedges. In the background of this family portrait, a guarded and welcoming neighborhood would appear, complete with similar home designs and family arrangements lining its streets. In other words, the image of the American Dream resides within the typical American suburb. And within this typical suburb lies (supposedly) the remaining components of the ideal American lifestyle.

From the moment William Levitt created the first
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Largely a result of the lifestyles portrayed on suburban-based television shows, the suburbs have consistently been deemed the ideal environment for the ideal family of high moral standards From the initial episodes of "Leave it to Beaver" in the 1950's to the modernized episodes of "Home Improvement" in the 1990's, suburban TV sitcoms have bombarded America with images of hard-working and devoted mother/father pairs who guide their essentially "normal" children through the obstacles of childhood and adolescence. As the television critic Michael V. Tueth revealed in a recent publication of the Journal of Popular Film and Television, these television shows allowed suburbia to evolve into the home of "parental wisdom and spousal forgiveness" as well as "children's fantasies and nonsense" (98). Surprisingly, because America's actual suburban children record and obtain overall success through adulthood, these television lifestyles did not seem too far-fetched. Unfortunately, through recent years, this affirmed connection between the suburbs and the "perfect" family environment has become more of an intended assumption rather than a reality.

While today's society places great significance on acquiring the appearance of the traditional America family, it places little, if any, importance on actually filling its shoes. When two teenagers
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