American dream

08.05.2018
Contact the author
Американская мечта

The American dream is more than a lot of money, an expensive car and a big house on the outskirts. For the most part, the American dream is the main ideology of the American society. It is often associated with the ethics of Protestants, which speaks of honest and dedicated work for achievement of personal goals, including glory, wealth, recognition. According to one definition, the American dream is a belief in freedom from prejudices (racial, class, religious) society, in success of a person, depending on his personal qualities and work. 

The basis of the American dream is the principle of individual freedom. It was for freedom that the Europeans traveled to new colonies, driven from their homeland by religious intolerance, cliquishness of the old Europe, desire for personal happiness. The absence of an official religion in the United States, centuries-old traditions, unwritten rules and laws ensured new-arrived residents with freedom of expression.  

The term "American Dream" received its first definition in the writings of James Adams in the book "Epos of America" during the Great Depression. Adams even wanted to call the book "The American Dream", but the publisher opposed it. In the book, the historian describes a dream as a desire for a rich and fulfilling life on earth, accessible to everybody, as equal opportunities for everyone, including recognition. In times of severe economic recession, the American dream of James Adams was a sip of optimism for Americans.

The theme of the American dream is being actively used by politicians during their election campaigns. In particular, almost all the American presidents one way or another promised their voters the earliest possible achievement of the American dream.

American writers could not ignore such a national phenomenon as the American dream. It was used by Mark Twain in his works (“The American Claimant”) and by Theodore Dreiser (“American Tragedy”), Francis Fitzgerald (“The Great Gatsby”), William Faulkner, Thomas Hunter (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”), Winston Grumm ("Forrest Gump") and others. The cinematograph did not lag behind, too: screening of many works also showed the concepts and principles of the American dream in different forms to a wide audience.

At present, the American dream continues to live in the minds of Americans. It has acquired new features and principles, such as a strong family, mandatory presence of several children, own house, friendly neighbors. At the same time there is practically no cult of accumulation. Many American millionaires who earned their fortunes by their own intelligence and labor, who have reached the American dream, do not differ much from ordinary Americans. They wear simple clothes, ride on ordinary (in the American concept) cars, living in average housing of average status.



Comments
To comment on the materials of the portal can only registered users. Log in.
Related articles
Woodstock Music & Art Fair: the story of a legendary American festival
In the 60s of the last century, societal division occurred in the American society, as a result of which a hippie youth movement appeared
The History of America: from colonies to the democratic society
The first Europeans who settled in what is now America were the Spaniards and French from the number of navigators. However, since 1607 the British began to actively explore the land
Financial aspect of life in the USA: the amounts involved?
It is assumed that America is a country that is ideal for living, as the prices here are very affordable. However, everything is relative
Life by American standards: the pros and cons
The American way of life is a disseminated cliché that is still used in the media when it comes to characterizing US citizens. Along with this, the concept has two sides
Russian Diaspora in the USA
The number of citizens of the United States of America having a Russian origin today exceeds 3 million people. About a fourth of them consider Russian as their natural language - one of the most common non-state languages of the United States
What languages are spoken in the USA
We all know that the USA uses the American version of the English language, and it is quite different from the canonical, British version. In recent times, the role of other languages, primarily Spanish and Chinese, has been growing in the United States
Subscribe to our mailing list