THE AMERICAN DREAM

1974

EVENTS, PEOPLE, MOVEMENTS, IDEAS, NORMS AND PERCEPTIONS

In October of 1974, many people had "no time for dreams". Inflation was at an all time high and caused working hours to increase, while Americans dreams decreased. The upcoming election created tensions, with little hope for the future. Picking a candidate was simply a matter of deciding who was the lesser evil. Dewey David Burton had a dream of recognition, but had to throw it all away after realizing that his busy schedule with his education and job were destroying his relationship with his family. Burton's wife had to get a job because he couldn't support them financially , even though women being employed was uncommon during this time period.

AMERICAN DREAM AND THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT

The American Dream during this time period is defined as gaining recognition and being well known for your work. This reflects the historical context in which the article was written because people were more focused on paying bills rather than their education; they didn't want their dream to be focused on finances. Although, by the end of this article, Burton's tone changed to one that just focused on having the money to support his family. Inflation got the best of Dewey's American Dream.

QUOTES FROM DEWEY DAVID BURTON

"I wanted to be somebody. It wasn't that I just wanted to have some kind of recognition, you know, to be more tomorrow than I was yesterday and that's what I was working for."


"I realized that with the prices going up the way they were, I was just getting further behind all the time, ... I wouldn't see my boy for days and then I'd be so dead on the day off- when I got one-that it wouldn't be any fun for him anyway..."


"... so I decided one day to stop dreaming and just concentrate on today. I work just as hard now, but I'm relaxed."

COMPARE

  • Neither time period was focused on material things, both want to gain social hierarchy.
  • In 1974, the economy was down because of the high inflation. Today, our economy still isn't at its height.

CONTRAST


  • In 1974, many wanted to simply be recognized.
  • The 1974s consisted of gender stereotyping that only permitted one gender to work.
  • Today, freedom and equal opportunity are on the minds of all.
  • In present times, both spouses work, so obtaining the dream is more feasible and less likely to be given up.
Zoe White and Aliyah Smith