My American Dream

Essay by innis04College, Undergraduate January 2005

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Often I hear my elders speak of the American Dream, and as often as I hear those words I wonder, what exactly do they mean. Webster defines the American Dream as an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity. In simpler terms that means it stresses equality and physical wealth. The equality part is correct and good, although I believe the American Dream encompasses more than physical wealth. I feel that it involves more than materials but also feelings like happiness, peace of mind, and the feeling of accomplishment. I have learned these things from people like my mother who have worked their fingers to the bone to provide a life better than they had growing up.

To begin, my mother began picking cotton on her family farm when she was four. Although she could not contribute much she was still expected to contribute. The work of course, left her little time for a normal childhood.

As she grew older and more responsible more work was expected of her. Her American Dream was to be able to allow her children to have a childhood and not be expected to be a major barer of the workload for the survival of the family. She accomplished this through many years of hard schooling. School did not come easy to my mother. She was not the most gifted schoolgirl in her class, but with great struggle she graduated and proudly claimed her diploma. After high school she moved on to college where she received her degree. Many people criticized my mother for her decision to move on for further education after high school. They said it would be too costly, that she would never finish, or she was not smart enough for college. In the end my mother proved her...