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The Progression of the American Dream

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Hannah Aronson

on 20 May 2015

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Transcript of The Progression of the American Dream

The American Dream is the ideal life for somebody that they would be more than happy with. It's the hope that anyone, of whatever race, gender, or religion can be rich and famous as long as they work hard and try their best. Many different people have different ideas of what their American Dream would be. The American Dream has evolved over different eras starting in the early 1600s.
Puritans: 1600s
The Founding Fathers: 1700s
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. The period of Transcendentalism is known as the American Renaissance which was a time of change. Transcendentalists desired to ground their religion and philosophy in transcendental principles but not on physical experience and deriving from the inner spiritual or mental essence of the human.
Transcendentalism -
Self Reliance
Romanticism: 1800 - 1860
During the Romanticism period, most thought poetry as the highest expression of the imagination. Most writers valued feeling and intuition. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Emily Dickinson were a part of the Romanticism era and they were known as Dark Romantics. They used dark and supernatural themes in their work and contributed to the new age of literary and cultural maturity.
The Progression of the American Dream
Puritanism was a religious reform movement that began in England in the sixteenth century. The Puritans aimed to reform the Church of England, therefore, many of them moved to America due to civil strife and government persecution. Many Puritans moved to America hoping for religious freedom. The Puritans were the originators of the American Dream. The American Dream for the Puritans was that hard work leads to success and the life they could only dream of. They were strict in their faith so that they could going to Heaven.
Hannah Aronson
The American Dream
At the time of the Founding Fathers, the ideal American Dream was to be independent from Great Britain. Many of the Founding Fathers including Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry worked hard for independence.
The Declaration of Independence
is a good example of this time because it expresses the need for independence from Great Britain.
- The Crucible
The Crucible
was written by Arthur Miller. The play tells about a small community in Massachusetts that was being overwhelmed by the rumors of witchcraft. During the play, you can see the faults in the Puritans' American Dream. The faults were that even though they were committed to their faith, that doesn't seclude them from being accused of witchcraft.
The Founding Fathers -
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence
was written and signed by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and many others on July 4, 1776. It states that the colonies are independent from Great Britain. In
The Declaration of Independence
, it states "as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right to do," which declares that the colonies are free from the power of Britain.
Transcendentalism: 1840 - 1860
Rationalism: 1750 - 1800
Rationalism is known as "The Age of Reason." It is mostly comprised of philosophers and scientists such as Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine. The Rationalist's American Dream was hope for a better life and future. Their Dream was to live in a land of opportunity, where they could come from a poor family and rise from rags to riches in the fast developing American society. Benjamin Franklin is a good example of a rationalist because he showed good insight to the way of self examination that rationalists used.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's
Dr. Heidegger's Experimen
t tells about the American Dream during the Romanticism period.
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
is about four adults that were struggling with four different evils that included: lust, vanity, deceit, and greed. In the experiment, the four adults were seeking eternal youth by drinking Dr. Heidegger's supposed water from the Fountain of Youth. During the Romanticism period, it was obvious that Hawthorne's idea of the American Dream was to have eternal youth and that he was mainly focused on looks or possessions.
Romanticism -
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
Rationalism -
The Autobiography
Realism: 1850 - 1900
Modernism: 1900 - 1950
Contemporary: 1950 - Present
Benjamin Franklin expresses his idea of the American Dream in his book The Autobiography. Franklin's American Dream is the cliche of going from rags to riches. In The Autobiography, Franklin tells the story of a determined young man who came from nothing and worked hard to make something of his life. The book was intended to influence his son to strive for success but then turned into telling how any American could succeed. Franklin defined himself as someone whose success could be imitated by any American. The Autobiography establishes the foundation for the American Dream in the literature of America.
Realism is the attempt to depict subjects truthfully. Realism was a literary movement that began during the nineteenth century and stressed real life as opposed to the imagined or made up life. Realists tried to write objectively about ordinary characters in ordinary situations. They rejected heroic or adventurous situations. A famous realist would be Mark Twain.
A good example of Transcendentalism would be Ralph Waldo Emerson's
Self Reliance
. Emerson encouraged people to think individually and independently. Because he was different from other writers, most thought his ideas were controversial. Because Emerson continuously generated new ideas, he inspired people and he is considered one of the most quoted writers in American literature. The American Dream for Transcendentalists was to be self reliant and only focus on their inner being.
Realism -
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain wanted to describe life as it was actually lived, in its grubby, deflating details rather than an ideal life, one of pure states and exalted emotion.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
shows the American Dream for Twain as freedom. Huck's vision of what he wanted from life didn't involve hard work or having money to buy material things. The story is different from other because it's more realisitic. Huck didn't want to be rich, he wanted freedom and equality.
Modernism is a literary movement that lasted from the beginning of the twentieth century until the end of World War II. It rejects all literary conventions of the nineteenth century, its conventional morality, taste, traditions, and economic values. The writers in this period employed a wide range of styles. What they have in common is the main characteristic of literary modernism, a determination to respond honestly to the contradictions of the twentieth century using new literary techniques. Many famous modernists include William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott
Modernism -
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the American Dream in
The Great Gatsby
as an era of decayed social and moral values, shown in its greed and empty pursuit of pleasure. No matter how rich Gatsby got or how many parties he threw, or how ever many things he bought, Daisy wouldn't be with him. For Gatsby, Daisy is his American Dream. He did everything he could to achieve her but she was too absorbed in her own world to understand what she was going to Gatsby. The American Dream in
The Great Gatsby
is mostly presented as a decayed and corrupt shadow of what it used to stand for in the past.
The American Dream for the 1950's was that a young man would marry a young women and have two or three children. They would live in a picture perfect house in the suburbs. The house would be of average size that's fenced in by a white picket fence. The family would live in the suburbs and be a perfect little family. The father would work and the mother would be a stay at home mom. For immigrants, the American Dream would be a newfound life in America. They wanted a shot at a better life and more opprotunities.
Contemporary -
Antojos was written by Julia Alvarez who was born in New York City but then raised in the Dominican Republic until she was 10 years old and then moved back to the United States. They moved back to the United States in order to avoid the dictator of the Dominican Republic. Alvarez found writing as her voice that helped her deal with the pain of adjustment to a new culture and language. Antojos is a story about a girl named Yolanda who was born in the Dominican Republic and then moves to the United States. She travels into the North by herself, where she comes across many poor towns. She's looking for her aunt and her antojo or her "craving." Throughout Yolanda's journey she is in search if her antojos, which leads her to be faced with difficult and dangerous situations. Yolanda is also confronted by the different cultures and way of life she once left behind and finds herself unable to remember alot of the Spanish language, making communication very hard.
My American Dream
My American Dream would be to live a long and healthy life with a husband and one, maybe two, kids. I would love to have a job that I enjoy going to everyday.
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