The Increase in Crimes to Achieve the American Dream Essay

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Blood-stained shoes, a meager sum of cash, and a guilty conscience: this is what Richard Hickock and Perry Smith left with from the Clutter Household on the night of November 15, 1959. Four innocent people, who could have changed the world one day, received fatal gun shot wounds and for what: a mere sum of forty dollars? Hickock and Perry committed this senseless crime as they felt it necessary to live up to the America ideals of power and money, no matter the cost. The American Dream, once thought to be the dream of a freer, better, richer, and happier life for all citizens of every rank, has now turned into a desire for quick success and financial security, regardless of the means by which people achieve it. Due to the media and changing…show more content…
According to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) done by the FBI in 2012, the number of violent crimes increased 0.7 percent from the previous year, and does not show signs of stopping (UCR 2012). In addition, studies by the FBI in 2012 show that the murder rate stands at 4.7 murders per 100,000 people, significantly higher than most other wealthy nations (UCR 2012). Criminal historians agree that the United States far exceeds other nations in the number of crimes committed by an industrial nation. Whether people choose to commit acts of embezzlement, robbery, or homicide, people have started to look at criminality as a shortcut to success. Through time and the changing atmosphere of society, the pursuit of the American Dream has become extremely distorted and a chilling nightmare for many, as misguided people are willing to commit detestable crimes in an effort to fulfill the ‘revised’ American Dream. The American people once believed that the dream included “a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each person according to ability or achievement...regardless of fortuitous circumstances of birth or position” (Adams 2).. Once the ideal of millions to achiever a greater life of success for all, the American Dream has now become distorted, and replaced by new immoral ideas on how to succeed. The renowned sociologist Robert Merton published his Social Structure and Anomie in 1938. In it he states that rigid adherence to
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