Summary Analysis Of Brandon Kings American Dream: Dead, Alive, Or On Hold. - English - Essay

1756 words - 8 pages

ENC 1101

There are a lot of continuous arguments about the specific definition of what the
American Dream means as well as whether it exists today. Do people still believe in the
American Dream? If so, what does it mean to them? Are questions that the author Brandon King
thought of as he wrote his essay, The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold, where he states
that it is in fact very much alive. This topic is important and brought up in a lot of conversations
because the idea of an American Dream can be a major encouragement to the choices Americans
and other people make for their future, as well as affect the way they look at the American
economy. Over the years, the definition and its purpose has negatively changed due to the
intense outcomes Americans have had to face. The phrase, American Dream has been around
since the Great Depression, originally being described as the dream of a land in which life
should be better and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability and
achievement, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth (James Truslow Adams, 1931)
This means that back then, the definition meant anyone could go to a country in which they
thought was best for them, where they could work hard, make a living, earn financial security
and most of all accomplish happiness and do this disregarding their background or economic
Stephanie Rydstrom 2
profile. Numerous Liberal Economists and activists have said that the American Dream is dead
and that Americas economy is flawed, but King thinks otherwise, stating that it is more alive
than ever. To persuade his readers about his position, King builds his argument based on his own
re-imagined meaning of American Dream and why believing it is alive can help today's
society, deciding to redefine it by addressing three principle keys to restore the American Dream:
Overcoming the challenges of the Great Recession, overcome inequality, and achieving genuine
prosperity (King 2).
King first talks about the Great Recession whilst also providing many reliable statistics
on the evolution of the way Americans see the American Dream. He quotes a paragraph from a
New York Times survey that affirms, Despite the harshness of the Great Recession, a 2009 New
York Times survey found that 72 percent of Americans still believed it was possible to start
poor, work hard, and become rich in America (King 2) This quote thoroughly demonstrates
what the American Dream used to signify to people and, being a quote from 2009, it proves
that 10 years ago people still had the same opinion. It also states that when Americans were
asked what the American Dream meant, the greater part of them said something like financial
security or being able to retire without struggling. All of this goes to prove that the past meaning
of the American Dream has changed to an increasingly humble one today, and that, from
varied points of view, the American Dream of today is a ...

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