A Mirror Held Up to the World: Examining the American Dream

“I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn it’s passing.”                       – Hubert Selby Jr., Writer

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Tax Credits. Money. 2012. Web. Flickr.com. 23 April. 2016

The concept of the American dream is one I first became familiar with as a child. Whether it was through passive listening to some news program or a phrase I heard chirped out during a Star Search-style show, the undeniable enchantment of the rags-to-riches tale was laced with a peculiar and a romantic intrigue. After hearing it spoken of so luminously a few times, I recall asking my mother if it was just about getting rich. “More or less,” she said, and that was that.

In the last few years, the idea of the American dream has been faced with many questions about the real possibility of its existence. With the economic collapse of 2008 and the struggle for the global economy to lumber back to its feet, it’s a belief that has been considerably bedraggled. The exporting of manufacturing jobs, stagnant wages and the inability for many people to buy houses have led many to believe that the most familiar of hopes has been laid bare.

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