The American Dream In Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle

1519 WordsOct 2, 20177 Pages
Comedian George Carlin once stated, “That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” Financial security, freedom to live how one chooses, retiring at 65 and living comfortably in old age, owning a home, knowing that working hard pays off: these are all fundamental beliefs tied to the American Dream. As newer generations are increasingly finding the dream to be unrealistic, people are beginning to abandon the concept; however it is still a very present ideology. While many believe the American Dream is a lively goal that everyone strives to achieve, it is actually a dying illusion that is unattainable for all but the wealthiest and used to propagate a classist society, causing a cycle of ignorance…show more content…
The purpose of the American dream is not to promise success as a reward for hard work; conversely, it is the idea that individuals should be able to achieve success despite their socioeconomic status. This belief is intended to inspire and create equality. Although the American Dream sounds optimistic in concept, it further propagates inequality in practice. The American Dream is not a function of ability and achievement, but a dying illusion. America is not truly the land of the free, but an ignorant classist society. Gregory Clark, an economics professor at the University of California, Davis, stated that “America has no higher rate of social mobility than medieval England or pre-industrial Sweden … That’s the most difficult part of talking about social mobility - it 's shattering people 's dreams” (qtd. in Evans). The United States has an incredibly outdated economic system that does not allow disadvantaged citizens opportunities regardless of how hard they work. People get stuck in their social status and are not able to stray out of it, which affects their further generations. Additionally, immigrants coming to America in hopes of prosperity are likely to have even less luck than immigrants of the pass and widen the gap of social inequality. Clark continues to state, “The truth is that the American Dream was always an illusion. Blindly pursuing

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