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The American Dream

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Eric Lopez

on 29 April 2015

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Transcript of The American Dream

Essential Question:
Are dreams obtainable for all people, regardless of class, gender, or race?
What is the American Dream?
As a group we came to a conclusion that the “American Dream” is living a better lifestyle, and moving to America for better opportunities and jobs. Many individuals migrated to America in order to accomplish their dreams and this is known as immigration.
A Raisin In The Sun
Written by Lorraine Hansberry
How did the American Dream come to be?
Changes in the Dream
1933 - The dream was a vision of a better, deeper, and richer life for every individual, regardless of the position in society which he or she may occupy by the accident of birth.(Resource #1)
1959 - The dream was for a nation whose members decide their own fates and who are subject to no arbitrary power that stands higher than the law or public opinion. (Resource #2)
1974 - A man who gave up on his dream due to economical and political problems. "Its wasn't the money so much as that I just wanted to have some kind of recognition...."
1996 - The dream was to own a house with a white picket fence and a car. "Dreaming of a better life has kept this country together" (Resource #4)
2001 - The dream was to have a better life and have a from of education. (Resource #5)
What were Jim Crow Laws?
- According to U.S history, Jim Crow laws were made to enforce racial segregation in the South between the end of Reconstruction in 1877, and the beginning of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s. (Encyclopedia Britannica).
- Jim Crow laws helped the Ku-Klux-Klan in performing heinous crimes against colored people. They mostly got away with the crimes as laws like Jim Crow laws helped establish a sense of white supremacy.
Racism and Segregation
House Mama put the down payment for:

-In Black neighborhoods it was harder to buy a home due to the price being doubled than in White Neighborhoods.
-"Them houses they put up for colored in them areas way out all seem to cost twice as much as other houses.I did the best I could." (pg 93)
-This revealed that because the Younger family was African American and wanted to move into a white neighborhood due to their race, economically the white didn't have to pay as much money then African Americans did.
-This is known as Racism and Segregation because whites didn't want African Americans in their neighborhood.
The American Dream
By: Betsy, Eric and George
Historical Context:
Her family became one of the first black families to move into a white neighborhood.
Each member of the family has his and her dream but all had a obstacle that they have to over come.
Her parents were well-educated African americans who fought against discrimination.
What were the dream(s) of Mama, Walter, Beneatha, and Ruth?
-Mama's dream like most people in that time period was to own a house with a fence and a garden in front of it.
- "Mama (putting her finger on his nose for emphasis) She went out and she bought you a house!" (91)

-Walters dream was to own a liquor store and be his own boss.
-He also wanted to be able to provide for his family and give them a better life.
-In order to achieve his dream there was something standing in his way which was Willy Harris running away with the money he asked him to hold.
- “You wouldn’t understand yet, son, but your daddy’s gonna make a transaction…. a business transaction that’s going to change our lives.” (108)
Walters Dream
Beneatha's Dreams
Ruth's Dream
-Ruth's dream was to be able to care of the family and was willing to make sacrifices for the stability of the Younger family.
- Although she wanted to accomplish her goal like everybody else Walter's obsession with his dream got in her way.
-“ Mama When the world gets ugly enough – a woman will do anything for her family. The part that’s already living.” (75)
-The "American Dream" was first attributed to the historian James Truslow Adams who wrote a treatise called "The Epic of America" in 1931.
-In the treatise Adams said "the dream is not of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which every individual shall be able to attain the fullest stature of which they are capable and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstance of birth."
-A film maker named Linda Schaffer want around the country with a camera and microphone asking people what was they so called dream which led to a 90 minute film called "American Dreamers.(Resource 4)
Treatise: a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject:
American Dreamers by Linda Schaffer
-In this film Linda Schaffer interview celebrities like Michael Jordan, Mel Brooks, Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou, and ordinary people.
-All of the celebrities told Schaffer that they don't feel that they have made it yet in life and she was surprise to hear that.
-But also found people that becomes disillusioned with the United States spite of its social and economic problems as a land where opportunity can come true. (Resource 4)
What changes has the American Dream had over the years?
-Over the years, the meaning of the "American Dream" has change into something different.
-For example:
The Great Depression is a good example because during this time the dream was pushed aside because of the stock market crash.
-"It has been warped almost to the breaking point by the materialism of the past dozen years... Our future as an idealistic people depends on whether we cling to The Dream or the stock market" (Resource 1).
Discussion Questions
1.Determine the Author's Purpose for writing a Raisin In the Sun.
2.Determine how the money symbolizes the hopes and dreams of the Younger family.
3.Cite Evidence explaining another way racism an segregation is being expressed during the Play.

Work Cited
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
American Faces 1993's Realities (Resource #1)
Essence of America (Resource #2)
Pre-Election Mood:'There's No Time For Dreams' (Resource #3)
Testing the Resonance of the American Dream (Resource #4)
Our Towns; A Chance to Live, and Then Describe, Her Own American Dream (Resource #5)
Betsy's
"American Dream"

My "American Dream" is to go to a good college and later on in life have a beautiful family, take my mother into a better place to live and major in accounting. In order for me to achieve my dream I would have to go through obstacles and be a very hardworking and ambitious person in order to achieve it.
Eric's
"American Dream"
George's
"American Dream"
I don't really have an American dream as I believe that success is based on an individuals effort and not because of a dream. Someone in Iraq could make it in life and someone in America could not make it in life.
My "American Dream" is to become a automobile engineering and go to good college like "Manhattan College or ITT Tech". But also to take my mom and future family out of the Bronx and to give them a better life.

-Beneatha's dream was to be a medical doctor.
-Her dreams were deferred after her brother used the money to invest wrongly.
-Beneatha was not demoralized by her brother’s actions as she was wiling to go to extremes to achieve her dream.
-“Beneatha (Girlishly and unreasonably trying to pursue the conversation) To go to Africa, Mama– be a doctor in Africa…” (150)
-The rest of the younger family did not really believe in her dream
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