The Not so Easily Attained American Dream
But this is untrue, there are many Americans unhappy with their job and cannot do anything about it. The American dream that is wanted by immigrants and current citizens is an American lie.
The American dream comes in many different shapes and sizes. In my opinion, the American dream is attaining a career which a person enjoys, and has a salary which places him in middle to upper class. In the story Ragged Dick by Horopito Alger, Dick is able to obtain the American dream . In the story Ragged Dick is a shoe shiner who has some money saved up and is able to go on a trip with his business partner.While on this journey Dick encounters a man and his son who are on a boat with him. The young boy falls off the boat ND into the water. Dick is an excellent swimmer and is able to jump into the water to save him.
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Dick being an excellent swimmer is able to hold the boy up but still isn’t able to make it back to the boat. Just in the nick of time another boat comes by and is able to grab dick and the boy. The father of the boy rewards Dick with new clothes and a lucrative job opportunity.This story is a perfect example of the American dream, is in no way possible for every American. Auricle De Lee Perez is one example of an immigrant who came to America looking for the American dream. Auricle is a middle aged woman of Latin cent with two kids and belongs to low class America. She came from cube 10 years ago with nothing but a high school education and Spanish as her only tongue.
When Auricle was a child her parents spoke of America as a land of dreams and opportunity. She soon realized that dreams were not easily accomplished in America.Horopito lagers story reads “As Dick, with a balance of more than a hundred dollars in the saving bank, might fairly consider himself a young man of property, he thought himself justified in occasionally taking a half holiday from business, and going on an excursion” (Alger 265). This means that Dick as already accumulated wealth in his life giving him the ability to take time off of work to go on an excursion-The American dream is supposed to be the idea of going from nothing to something, not from something to even more.This implies that to become successful one must already have wealth from a previous time in their life. Auricle is a poor immigrant from Cuba. She has no money to bring with her to America.
In fact the reason she is coming to America is to create wealth for her and her children. She does not have the luxury of being able to leave home for an unknown period of time with no income to go on an excursion. If the American dream is equally achievable for everyone, why is it that money must be saved to be able to have a chance of getting a high paying job?In the Ragged Dick story, Dick conveniently was an expert swimmer. The story reads “Now dick was an expert swimmer. It was an accomplishment which he had possessed for years, and he no sooner saw the boy fall than he resolved to rescue him. ” (Alger 265). This means that dick had a useful skill that was needed at that certain point in time.
If he had not known how to swim he would not have had the opportunity to meet the man who would later give him the job. Dick’s American dream would not have come true if he Were not at the right place at the right time.Auricle has no skill as useful as Dicks swimming ability. Auricle stated “l can’t swim. Do have some skills but I have been in the United States for many years and none of the skill I know have helped me to better my work life. ” (De Lee Perez) The only reason Dick was able to fulfill his American dream was because he had the ability to swim. But the American dream is supposed to be for anyone and everyone.
There is no disclaimer which states you must have a useful skill such as swimming to be eligible for the American dream. If the American dream was attainable there would be more middle and upper class Americans.When Auricle lived in Cuba, she ate a balanced meal. She was able to stay in shape and exercised regularly. When she arrived in America she learned that everyone was in a hurry all the time. She did not have time to diet and exercise because she had two kids to take care of. Auricle did not have time to cook healthy meals for herself and her children, she was forced to buy fast food not only because it was fast but it is also very cheap.
This decline in her health caused her to become overweight. Dick lived in a time when people ere not in such a hurry.If he lived in today’s society he would have been less likely to be in shape, thus prohibiting him from saving the child in the water. Auricle would not be able to save the child either because she is now over weight and cannot swim for long periods of time. Auricle being overweight is another factor prohibiting her from attaining the American dream. Physical fitness is another unspoken requirement for the American dream. Education is another unspoken prerequisite required by the American lie.
Ragged Dick not only is an Selfish speaking white male, but he has also had a roper education.Horopito Alger wrote “it should be added that Dick’s peculiar way of speaking and use of slang terms had been somewhat modified by his education and his intimacy with Henry Fossils” (Alger) Dick knows when it is appropriate to use slang and when he should use a more proper English. He was also ballot to read and write. Mr.. Rockwell, the father of the boy Dick saved, asked Dick to write his name on a piece of paper. When Mr.
. Rockwell saw that dick was able to write well, he went on to ask dice How would you like to enter my accounting room as clerk, Richard? Dick was about to say Bully,” when he recollected himself, and answered, ‘Very much . “”(Alger 268). If Dick had not been educated he would not have been able to write his name for Mr.. Rockwell. Mr.
. Rockwell probably would have given him a cash reward of some kind and let him be on his way. Education was the key role in this scenario. It unlocked the door for Dick’s new career and lifestyle. Education is one thing many immigrants such as Auricle do not have when coming to America. Auricle stated “l don’t have a lot of education. I taught myself to speak English but it is hard for me to read and understand the language.
Therefore education is another unspoken prerequisite for the American dream. Therefore the American dream that so many are so adamant about achieving is only attainable if wealth, education, and luck are gained. Immigrants coming to America and current citizens must see that the American dream is not equally attainable. There are many unspoken items that are needed before one can accomplish the American dream. The idea Of the American dream may have once been true, but with so many businesses in this country, and so many businessmen to work these jobs, it makes all qualifications have to be much greater to be able to receive these jobs.