The Possibility of the American Dream


The American Dream is the idea that anybody, no matter their status, can be successful. The historical understanding of the American Dream is not possible in today’s society because a lot of Americans are struggling to afford the cost of living and people are sometimes denied the American Dream due to societal issues based on bias. There are too many people who are denied the chance and who cannot even live comfortably to believe the American Dream is attainable nowadays.

Many Americans are struggling to afford the basic costs of living. In “Is the American Dream Still Possible?”, David Wallechinsky wrote “Many average Americans are struggling --- squeezed by rising costs, declining wages, credit-card debt and diminished benefits, with little left over to save for retirement.” (Wallechinsky 64). The author explains how even though we have the American Dream, many Americans are still struggling which opposes the idea of the American Dream. Americans should be able to lead comfortable lives and be able to retire without worry, but that is not how it works anymore. If we are unable to live that life, the American Dream is not possible, it used to be, but the message is now changed. No matter how hard people work, most still live-in fear of debt. It is even harder for the minorities of the United States to achieve the American Dream.

Too many people are denied the right of the American Dream due to privileged bias. Minorities everywhere around the United States are unable to live their lives comfortably because of privileged individuals and groups. In “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, Crooks says, “I didn’t mean it. Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ want to go no place like that.” (Steinbeck 4). Crooks started to get excited when the guys were talking about their dream, especially when he found out they had enough money to do it but was immediately discouraged by Curley’s wife. He realized his place and that he was never going to be able to reach the American Dream as he was just a black man who did not have the same rights as the white people on the ranch. Crooks is basically the definition of the American Dream, he works extremely hard, harder than most of the white people, but he is not able to live comfortably or freely like them.

Some people would say the American Dream is still possible because there are people who meet the bare necessities of this ideal. In “Is the American Dream Still Possible?”, David Wallechinsky explains, “More than 64% say they are employed full time or part time. Most say they are in reasonably good health and have satisfying religious or spiritual life. They own a home and at least two cars, and they are able to take vacations. By international standards, they live a life of prosperity.” (Wallechinsky 65). By regular standards, they seem to live a good life and are living in the American Dream. They have all the basic necessities and are even able to take vacations from time to time, which can be seen as a luxury. However, behind all of that, there are many more Americans struggling to pay their bills and are living on a check-to-check basis. Even though they have all these things, it is hard to maintain them especially with rising healthcare costs and cuts in healthcare benefits. 

The American Dream is no longer possible in today’s society. Too many Americans are struggling to pay for the basic costs of living and many minorities are denied the same rights as more privileged people and are unable to live out the American Dream to its full potential. The American Dream may be attainable for some people, but most people are still struggling to live a comfortable life even with a part-time or full-time job.

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