The Myth of the American Dream Essay

2137 Words Oct 18th, 2009 9 Pages
America historically owns the reputation of being the land of opportunity, and for generations immigrants have fled to the United States to experience the freedom and equality our government lays claim to. At the root of this reputation is the American Dream, the belief that with hard work anyone can succeed based solely on his or her merits. While definitions of success vary, the American Dream defines it as the ability to become a "self-made man," thereby rising to a more-than-comfortable state of living. The American Dream is believed to be blind to race, sex, or socio-economic status and at a first glance, seems to be almost Utopian. Conversely, repeated examples and statistics of the lower-classes, those continually facing the harsh …show more content…
Unfortunately, the school's lack of appropriate education results directly from poor government funding. So even with hard work, the lower-class student is still held down by his socio-economic status. Poverty-stricken parents are unable to offer their children the same attention and motivation as parents of a higher-class can, therefore never providing these children with the mindset that they are able to accomplish the American dream. According to Mantsios, 40 million Americans live in poverty, and the mental and physical affects the low standard of living has on them is undeniable (Mantsios 328). Citizens who live in poverty work long hours for little pay, yet return to a household that in no way symbolizes the hard work put forth. Within this environment, very few people have the positive outlook to mentor children successfully.

In addition, many families do not make sufficient income to provide adequate food, housing or health care, and so then health conditions are drastically different than those of the upper class. According to Mantsios, Lower-class standing is correlated with higher rates of infant mortality, eye and ear disease, arthritis, physical disability, diabetes, nutritional deficiency, respiratory
Open Document