The American Dream Is Sublime Motivation
“You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough.You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose” said one of America’s founding father’s, Abraham Lincoln.America, the land of the free, the home of the brave.
A country where it doesn’t matter what color of skin a person has, how tall or short they are, or what family they came from; but what does matter is values, and the amount of courage people have. The opportunities in America are endless, and for that reason, people in other countries would do anything to live the American Dream .
People will journey far and wide, traverse the entire continent, suffer all manner of pain and suffering, if they believe that, in the end, they will be rewarded, and there is nothing quite like survival to motivate people. The ancient tale of “The American Dream” has been pursued by many, but only few make it all the way. The novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the two poems, “Dream Deferred”, by Langston Hughes, and “American Dream of Reality”, by Ivy S. , Loganville, all portray the American dream. Today, many oversee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness instead they all think of fame, fortune, and respect.
But even though not everyone can achieve these, without dreams or goals what would America be? The American dream is sublime motivation for accomplishing ones goals and producing achievements, however when tainted with wealth the dream becomes devoid and hollow. The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald embodies many themes, however the most evident one relates to the corruption of the American Dream in the 1920’s where the “Dream” had been corrupted by the pursuit of wealth. When the American Dream was pure, motivation and ambition were key aspects to achieving life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In Gatsby’s earlier days he upheld towards the pure American Dream. “No wasting time at Shafters, No more smoking or chewing, Read one improving book or magazine per week, Save $3. 00 per week, Be better to parents” (Fitzgerald, 182). This is where Gatsby describes his newly revised schedule and how he prepares to become a better person. Though, in the story Gatsby destroys the true American Dream through his materialism. He no longer strives for the more precious things in life, but chases after Daisy’s love. Gatsby became corrupted because his main goal was to have Daisy, and from here money was everything to him and all he wanted to do was impress Daisy. Daisy symbolizes wealth and takes on the characteristics of money, “Her voice is full of money”(Fitzgerald, 127). His mansion and parties were all part of the plan to try and win Daisy over, the tainted dream was so empty that having accouterments of wealth could provoke feelings of love. “He’s the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919” (Fitzgerald, 78). The dream became so focused on money that any means of a obtaining it were overlooked, even if it was unprincipled. Ignorance and the ideal of looking out for oneself is prevalent.
Where as, in the pure American Dream striving to accomplish ones own personal goal is ones main focus. One should use the American Dream for motivation and hope that one can achieve ones personal goal. The American Dream should not be centered on money and other materialistic things like Gatsby, but on a real goal that has true value. Imagine a bleak and empty future with nothing to look forward to, and in which not even a single good intention manifests into something any more tangible than a wish. Langston Hughes asks the profound question: What happens to a dream deferred?
The truth is that if a person if forced to delay his or her dreams, only negativity can be found. The poem depicts certain human emotions when one cannot reach their goals or dreams. In other words the poem asks: If your dreams remain out of reach, do you shrivel, drawing inward as hope becomes less and less? Or does the inaccessibility of your dreams create tension? Does the distance of the dream create frustration and anger, corrupting the soul and eventually creating an explosion of action or emotion? Langston Hughes uses a unique style, language, and diction to portray his point about dreams. Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun? ”(2-3) This symbolizes a hardening, from a grape to a raisin. If a dream is destroyed it hardens the heart. It becomes useless just the like the dried up raisin. Hughes also suggests that maybe unrealized dreams are a “heavy load” which symbolizes a burden, something to heavy to bear, something that weighs a person down always. This poem is like the American Dream, if you do not pursue your dream right away it may slip away from you and eventually it will be gone. The American Dream can be fulfilled through hard word work and passion, it will not come easy.
Everyone has the opportunity to grasp the chance to become successful through dreams and goals. Langston Hughes realized the importance of dreams and having those dreams torn apart. His poem, “Dream Deferred”, uses strong images to create a picture of a negative and destructive outcome for a dreamer left unable to dream. “Nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude”, Thomas Jefferson. “So this is where all the dreaming takes me, to a cold, empty reality”, this is the opening line of the poem “The Dream of Reality”, by Ivy S. , Loganville.
Most dreams are meant to be dreams for a reason, but no matter how unreal it may seem, anything is possible with hard work and determination. Many Americans under estimate their power they hold within themselves to accomplish goals, and assume they can never amount to what they “dreamt” to be. Reality strikes millions of people like a ton of bricks every day. “I’m barefoot and the streets are rough, paved with broken glass, but that’s okay, cause the land is flowing with milk and honey, bread and butter, and justice. ” Life is not a promising thing, even though you may have a dream, that doesn’t mean you will fulfill them.
Those who find this out quickly enough face the real, cold, harsh world. At those times, the simpler things in life have to be realized. America lets its people roam free, it gives its people food to live, and it gives it’s people protection. A lot of countries have none of these things, concluding why America has so many immigrants, because they want to experience the “American Dream”. The American Dream is a great experience, but like “The Dream of Reality”, it doesn’t always workout as people “dream” it to be. “With sleep still in my eyes, shivering, confused, I must’ve overslept, now it’s time to wake up”.
Dreaming is one of the best things a person can do and everyone has to have dreams, but sometimes when you open your eyes too the real world things seem to change, either for the better or the worse. Without dreams, what can someone’s future look like? If there is no goal to shoot for, what keeps people motivated to try and achieve something each and every day? Everyone needs a dream; it’s what keeps the viscous circle of life moving. The ancient tale of “The American Dream” has been pursued by many, but only few make it all the way. Though, with hard work and etermination the possibilities are endless. America is one of the very few places that give people an opportunity for success, and when people take advantage of it, good things can happen. The novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the two poems, “Dream Deferred”, by Langston Hughes, and “American Dream of Reality”, by Ivy S. , Loganville, all portray the American dream. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are often times overlooked for fame and fortune, but when it comes down to it money doesn’t make you happy, it’s the simpler things that can bring happiness into someone’s life.