Essay: The American Dream
This essay discusses the American Dream.
The three readings—Hughes’ poem Let America be America Again and Tomorrowland and What the Indian Means to America— have a common theme running through all of them. The theme is a search for an ideal, an American dream which although is somewhat different for all three authors. For Hughes and Standing Bear it is an ideal state that they are looking for; while for Rybczynski it is an evaluation of a model society which might exist in future.
For Hughes, “The American dream” is something which he has never encountered it is something that was imagined by the founding fathers: freedom and liberty—however this America was never seen or experienced by him as he says, “it never was America to me” and its not people of color but all those who are poor and weak are subjugated by those who are dominating and in power. These people have nothing to hold on to but an ideal– a dream. As he says that America is an ideal state which it has yet to become what it imagines being. However, for Hughes there is hope that one day things will change and the dream will become reality.
Rybczynski discusses an ideal community dreamt by Walt Disney who wanted to create a model community of the future. The Disney Corporation is trying to create a planned ideal community which any American can dream of, a perfect place for middle class Americans to live in and raise their families.