The American Dream Project

By: Kelli Forbes

Part I

Society's Version:

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"The term "American Dream" first was used by the American historian James Truslow Adams in his book "The Epic of America" published in 19311. At that time the United States were suffering under the Great Depression2. Adams used the term to describe the complex beliefs, religious promises and political and social expectations.

"The American Dream" has become a widespread term to describe the American Way of Life3 in general, but it is by far not that easy." The American Dream" always has something individual. That is, why till today no one succeeded in giving a universally acceptable definition of the term.

For a lot of people "The American Dream" is connected to becoming wealthy and the ability to achieve everything if one only works hard enough for it (From rags to riches). For others it is much more and is beyond materialism. For them it is the dream of living a simple, happy and fulfilling life and the most important features being faith and equality. "The American Dream" also is about liberty and America being the country of unlimited opportunities...." By Eva Michels

Commercial Advertisement-
Smith Barney commercial 1979
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Above I chose the picture of the woman getting out of a car and getting ready to board her private jet because it shows wealth and class. In her red pumps, sleek car and her nice jet this picture screams out the American Dream in the eyes of the society. The article I chose talked about how and why the American Dream for society is accomplished through wealth and the ability to achieve anything and everything. Lastly I Chose the old commercial ad because it talks about how making a lot of money on your own is considered the American Dream.

My Version:

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Above I chose wealth as one of the major American Dream ideals to me because I believe that money contributes to a big part of it. Second I chose opportunity because I feel like you should be able to have so many different opportunities to do so many different things in the world. Third I chose family because my family is a key factor to how happy I am and being happy has a major role on the American Dream. Fourth I chose success because in order for me to feel like i have achieved the American Dream I will also have to fell successful with myself. Fifth I chose freedom because I want to be able to do whatever I want whenever I want. Lastly I chose equality because for the American Dream to be achieved everyone must be able to achieve it for themselves.

Gatsby's Version:

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Above I chose wealth as the major key to the American Dream in the 1920's. I also tied in old money to wealth because not only did they want to be wealthy but they did not want to have to work for their money. Next I added lots of women because like Tom from the Great Gatsby he had a wife and a mistress... that we know of. Then I added fame because in the 1920's if you weren't known by your name then you obviously had not met the American Dream yet. Next I added to be liked because Gatsby wanted o be liked by Daisy so bad because he was madly in love with her.

Part II

The American Dream has changed a lot over the past decade. In the 1920's the American Dream was all about making lots of money, having lots of women, and fame. In the book The Great Gatsby, at Gatsby's party a woman speaks with Jordan about how she ripped her gown and a stranger bought and delivered her a new gown. "It was gas blue with lavender beads. Two hundred and sixty-five dollars." (pg. 34). Also Tom Buchanan had a wife, Daisy, and a mistress, Myrtle. "When they do get married, they're going West to live for a while until it blows over." (pg. 17) talking about Tom and Myrtle getting married even though he was married to Daisy. 100 years later, today the American Dream has changed a lot. Today it's all about making your own money and having unlimited amounts of opportunities for everything. I believed it has improved since the 1920's because now people kinda d0 there own thing and they don't care about not being famous enough or not being rich enough.