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Once upon a time there was a mother, a father, one son and one daughter. They lived in a perfect two story house with a white picket fence and a tire swing. They also owned the cutest dog named Spot. Mr. Smith worked in an office and was the picture-perfect husband and father. Mrs. Smith stayed at home to give their children the attention they needed and take care of the home. She wore the most beautiful sundresses and always looked flawless. Little Jimmy and Sally were the perfect children and students. This is the American Dream in the 50’s. Things have changed a lot since then. Today I want to talk to you about my last English essay and how I will improve it.
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On both of my last two essays I know I could have done better. I am not going to come up with excuses. I say it’s because I need more time but to tell you the truth it’s because I procrastinate. I work 40+ hours and I am taking four classes and also trying to balance in a boyfriend and social life. I feel overwhelmed about 90% of the time. I feel like I am constantly trying to keep from drowning. I never feel like I have enough time for anything to give it my 110%. Last semester I feel like I found a pretty good balance but this semester has gotten away from me. This has affected my grades and homework.
On my second essay I know I could have done better. My essay is about how everyone has an American Dream in us but they are all a little different. We all hold onto the American Dream no matter if we don’t realize it. Our dreams are all are all similar since they revolve around happiness, love and success but differ in many ways. I believe the American Dream is alive and well, but it has evolved over time and looks different in each of our eyes. My page length on this paper was a little short so I was graded down on it. I could have filled up my paper more by adding sources from creditable people to prove that the American Dream is still alive. To improve my second essay I want to add more sources and add another two pages or so.
To improve my second essay I Have looked at a few different articles on the American Dream. I tried to focus on articles that counter argue my essay. I wanted to find an author that believes that the American Dream is dead or about to. I wanted to find this article type of article because I wanted to argue my point. One of my favorite articles I found was written by Mechele Dickerson called Is The American Dream Dead?
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Mechele Dickersons makes a lot of good point in his article called Is The American Dream Dead? He believes that the American Dream is dead and if it’s not truly dead yet it is close to it. He sets up the article with an opening with the fact that many Americans do not feel finically secure and do not feel secure about the economic future either. He goes on to state that the forecast for our economy is downwards, not up wards. The information and facts he provided I believe is true about our economy going downhill but I do not believe The American Dream is dead.
I think the big disagreement with Dickerson and I is our definitions of the American Dream. My own personal definition of the American Dream is not just our personal goals but it is what we hold on to every day, that drives us forward, it is our dreams of happiness, love, success, wealth or fame. In the beginning of Dickerson’s article he starts out with a quote by James Truslow Adams- “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
Dickerson takes this quote and focuses on three points of it. His first point that it is almost impossible to own your own home these days. Renting homes is no longer for 20 year olds. He shows the research associated with the fact that renting homes are on the high over owning because it is impossible with what little money we make even as a full time worker. His second point is on the fact that there is a wage gap. Even when we work full time we barely make ends meet and in turn we work full time with a part time job or a few random jobs on the side creating a “patchwork of paychecks”. The third point he makes is that our retirement is not secure. The early baby boomer are staying in the work force a little longer because they can no longer afford to retire when they had planned to.
Then what does it mean for those of us that are just starting out are careers in or 20’s. We have no future of retirement. We are trying to pay off student loans and credit card debt and not putting money aside for retirement. We don’t even think that retirement is a possibility for us. I love this point because I know it’s true. I am 23 years old and I am too busy trying to pay off debt to even think about retirement. My generation has been referred to as “the generation of YOLO” in other world You Only Live Once. I believe this is true because I live paycheck to paycheck and thinking more than one month in the future is too far off let alone when I am past my 50’s.
Dickerson then closes with his last paragraph titled The Death of the Dream. Those who have worked hard and saved will never be financially successful. How can we change this? Many have lost faith and in turn, turn to drugs, crime and suicide is on the rise. Some others have turned to nontraditional candidates for president such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The dream of retirement, owning our own homes, and financially stable is dead.
I still stand by my point that the American Dream is alive and well in all of us because we all dream of love, happiness, success, wealth or fame. Are we going to achieve theses dreams? Probably not because I do agree with Dickerson on that fact that our economy is on the downward spiral. I don’t believe that it is the American Dream anymore to own your own home or retire so I disagree with Dickerson on that point. I believe the American Dream has evolved to and now my generation (maybe because we are the YOLO generation) dreams of love, happiness, success, wealth or fame; not retirement and owning our own home.
When trying to find articles to support my paper I wanted an article that I could use to counter argue. I found this article and really enjoyed it but I don’t think I’ll use it to counter argue but to strengthen my points made. I will use this article to show that the dream once was to retire and own our own homes but since our economy and generations have changed so did the American Dream. Also the last paragraph that talks about politics I want to use in my paragraph in my essay that mentions the government. I want to strengthen that paragraph. This assignment was very helpful and it helped me better understand my own point and strength my thesis. I believe that the American Dream is still alive and well but it has evolved over time.
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