American Dreams : The American Dream Essay

2198 Words Apr 8th, 2016 9 Pages
In the twentieth century, an ideal known as the American Dream became the quest of many Americans. The American Dream is "an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity" (“American Dream”). Material prosperity is the main element of the American Dream that was stressed in the twentieth century, as Mr. Webb in Our Town so accurately points out. “Seems like they spend most of their time talking about who’s rich and who’s poor" (Wilder Act 1). This emphasis on wealth adversely affected the attainability of the American Dream. The American Dream as it is presented in twentieth century American literature is unreachable and unrealistic in the literature itself and in history, unless one creates one 's own meaning of the American Dream. The ownership of a house can be the first and foremost symbol of wealth, which is the major goal of the American Dream. “Over the course of the twentieth century, home ownership became an integral part of the American Dream (the American ideal of material prosperity). Especially after World War II, purchasing a home came to be considered a vital step in achieving the financial stability and prosperity that defined middle-class life” ("Home Ownership and the Real Estate Market in the Twentieth Century."). This goal of purchasing a home was attainable for some, but many people were unable to reach it because of outside factors. The foremost detriment to buying a house was the Great Depression:
The onset of…

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