Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The American Dream

The American Dream is the idea that hard work and commitment will result in prosperity and completion of personal goals. It is perceived by many to be an easy way of pursuing and following through on their goals in life. Beginning in the late 1800s immigrants came into the United States looking for employment and the opportunity to succeed. These new opportunities would help lead them towards fulfilling their American Dream. The social class system in America determines the lifestyle and outcome of one’s life.The majority of people who are born into a low social class will continue to be poor throughout the rest of their lives. These people may have a goal to become wealthier, but these goals will never be fulfilled because of their negative ascribed and achieved characteristics. Positive ascribed and achieved characteristics help push people ahead in society and the social class structure. Negative ascribed and achieved characteristics hold people back and force them to overc ome these obstacles in order to succeed. Ascribed and achieved characteristics greatly affect the pursuit the Dream for people. The Great Gatsby, by F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck perfectly portray the effect of the social class system and these personal characteristics on the American Dream. Determining one’s success or failure is based upon these characteristics and ultimately determines the social class in America. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, contains many different circumstances in which these characteristics affect their pursuit of the American Dream. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the book, pursues his dream by becoming wealthy. Born into a poor family, Gatsby tries to earn his dream girls’ love by making money.For five years he makes a great amount of money only to try and impress this woman’s expectations. He faces the problem of not realizing that the past is gone and he cannot get things that are impossible to reach. The book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, shows the effect of social class and personal drive to reach the American Dream. Lennie, who is mentally retarded, faces an obstacle he will never be able to overcome. Although his dream is simple, it will never be reached because of this ascribed characteristic. Another character in the book is Curley’s wife. An ascribed characteristic that she strives from is her beauty.A negative characteristic that holds her back from achieving her dream is her low social class and the fact that she’s a woman. All of these characters have different limitations, but they will all affect their pursuit of the American Dream and result in the same outcome. The Great Gatsby shows the effect of ascribed and achieved characteristics upon the upper class. Jay Gatsby was born into a low social class. He falls in love with Daisy Buchanan who is very wealthy. His desire for love is an impossible feat that he cannot obtain because of his low social class. â€Å"Rich girls do not marry poor boys, Jay Gatsby† (Movie: The Great Gatsby).He pursues his dream by becoming wealthy and hoping that she will accept him as the same social class. A positive ascribed characteristic that will help him is the fact that he is a white male. This helps him because white men have a better chance of getting what they desire over any other gender or race. A negative ascribed characteristic is the fact that he was born into a lower class family. This will hold him back and greatly affect his pursuit of the American Dream. A positive achieved characteristic that Jay Gatsby, is the fact that he is rich after overcoming an extraordinary obstacle of beginning in a lower class position in society.His rise in the social structure from lower to upper-lower only took him five years to obtain. This is an astonishing feat in which he has succeeded and pushed himself ahead in pursuing his dream. â€Å"Almost five years! [†¦] It had gone by her, beyond everything† (Fitzgerald 101). Although he had become extremely wealthy, there is a negative side to his climb in the social structure. His negative achieved characteristic is the way in which he got all his money. The way that he made his fortune was through drugs and illegal actions. He lied to many people he was close to about his past because he knew that the truth would intrude upon his goal. I am the son of some wealthy people in the mid-west [†¦] San Francisco† (Fitzgerald 69). Gatsby figures that the only way to pursue his dream is to lie about his past. Jay Gatsby could never overcome his obstacles so he was unsuccessful in pursuing his American Dream. He focused on obtaining Daisy’s love and undoing the past. â€Å"Gatsby believed in the green light [†¦] tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms out further† (Fitzgerald 189). The biggest problem that Gatsby faces is the fact that he cannon overcome his unrealistic purs uit of Daisy.Jay Gatsby’s failure is a full result of pursuing something that he will never get; therefore, his dream cannot be fulfilled. The book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck portrays the effect of ascribed and achieved characteristics on people in the lower class. Lennie and George travel together in order to find employment and make a living. This story takes the reader through the pursuit of a dream by two men and what they go through along the way. Their mutual dream is to â€Å"get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres and a cow and some pigs and—† (Steinbeck 14).Lennie is a very strong, hardworking man who has a simple dream. The biggest problem he faces is that he is retarded. This negative ascribed characteristic is an impossible obstacle to overcome. A positive ascribed characteristic that somewhat helps him is the fact that he is a white male. A positive achieved characteristic is that he is extreme ly hardworking. â€Å"He’s awright. Just aint bright [†¦] But he can do anything you tell him† (Steinbeck 22). His problem is keeping a job in order to make money and earn a living plays a big role in his pursuit of the American Dream.His friend, George, says â€Å"If I was alone I could live so easy [†¦] I could get a job an’ not have no mess† (Steinbeck 103). His retardation leads to his problem with keeping a job and not being able to function in normal society. Not only did his negative ascribed characteristic of being retarded affect the pursuit of his dream, it ultimately led to his death. These obstacles are impossible to overcome. In result, he cannot follow through with his American Dream. Curley’s wife has extremely high expectations for her American Dream. One positive ascribed characteristic that helped her was her beauty. Her looks helped her throughout life.She was born into a low social class and later on in life she marrie d into the lower class. These are both negative ascribed and achieved characteristics of Curley’s wife. Another negative achieved characteristic of Curley’s wife is that she is a whore. She has the â€Å"eye† for other men. â€Å"She gonna make a mess [†¦] She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger† (Steinbeck 51). Before she got married to Curley she had a chance of obtaining her dream as an actress. She missed out on the opportunity and married Curly, a ranch hand. â€Å"I tell ya I could’a went with shows [†¦] she was breathless with indignation† (Steinbeck 78).When she looks back on it she finds herself to be very disappointed in her decision. She does not approve of Curley because he does not make enough money and is not up to her standards. â€Å"Spends all his time sayin’ what he’s gonna do [†¦] Think I’m gonna stay in that two-by-four house? † (Steinbeck 78) Even though she is in the lo wer social class, she visualizes herself in a higher position above others with whom she associates herself with. If it was not for her low social status I believe that she would have been successful in her dream as an actress.Her beauty took her a long way in life and it helped her become close to her desired goal. Even though her dream was not very realistic, she had many qualities that helped her. The biggest setback that she had was the fact that she was a woman in the lower section of the social structure in America. Her ascribed characteristic of being poor determined the difference between her death and fulfilling her American Dream. Throughout the novels Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many characters portray the effect of personal characteristics upon their pursuit of the American Dream.Jay Gatsby’s personal achievement could not overcome all of the obstacles he had to work around in order to obtain his dream. Even th ough he became rich, the past was over and he could not retrieve Daisy’s love. Lennie had some extremely helpful qualities, but he could not overcome his ascribed characteristic of being retarded. For Lennie, it wasn’t his personal achievement, but instead it was his ascribed characteristics which held him back from his American Dream. Curley’s wife had the desire to become an actress, but instead she married a ranch hand who was in the lower class like herself.Her negative ascribed characteristic of being born into the lower social class held her back from reaching her goal. These characters all contained their own distinguishable problems, but they all had the same outcome. Ascribed and personal characteristics determine the future and outcome of one’s desired goal and for these three characters, this was true. Personal achievement and effort cannot always overcome all obstacles and for many the American Dream is just an impossible destination to reach. â€Å"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past† (Fitzgerald 189). The American Dream The American Dream: Money, Success, and A Home The American Dream changes over time, always based on society. In the 40's and 50's the American Dream was to have a white picket fence, a dog, a two parent home, and a couple of children. Today, it's a little bit different, the American Dream is to have money, cars, fame and success. The things I would have to say would never change about the American Dream and what It consists of would be money, success, and a home.The American Dream consists of money. I would have to say the American Dream consists of money because in todays society of money because in oday's society money talks. The more money you have, the more power you have. Money and power are what bring some advantages in America. It allows you to get your house, your cars, and your connections (the people you know). The American Dream today Is to have all these things, when you have money and power you tend to think you're invincible and at times in society you are.With all of this money and power you're not going to keep it a secret. Which brings me to my next topic, in which the American Dream consists of. Success and fame more importantly Success. The American Dream consists of success because in society seems to be one f the main goals. In everything we do we are told to succeed. Whether be sports, education, and our Jobs. So It wouldnt be a wonder that begng successful and known would be a part of the American Dream.Although gaining success would be reaching a personal goal and gaining money and power, success will not get you the last thing the American Dream consists of†¦ A home. Through all the years and times one thing has continued to be wanted and dreamed up, and that is a home. Not a house, not a mansion, but a home. A home is made up of love, care, and kindness. Everybody reams of having a home with a moderate sized family filled with love and compassion. A secure, serene, and yet free environment.That is a home, one of the things that t he American Dream is made of. In conclusion, The American Dream has changed over the times, but some things are clear. the dream is to have money, success, and a home. Money to gain power, ands with that money and power comes success and fame. All those things can never get you a home though. What does society say about what the American Dream Consists of: Society says the American Dream should say that you should have almost nothing but money. Money, ig mansions, a whole bunch of cars.To hang out with the celebs and Just be famous and known The American Dream By aminahpeacel 998 change about the American Dream and what it consists of would be money, success, todays society money talks. The more money you have, the more power you have. Dream today is to have all these things, when you have money and power you tend to of the main goals. In everything we do we are told to succeed. Whether it be sports, education, and our Jobs. So it wouldn't be a wonder that begng successful and known Dream has changed over the times, but some things are clear, the dream is to have The American Dream 1. In text two â€Å"Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls Lesson From 25 Years as a U. S. Citizen – Learn English, Participate in Politics, and Give Back† by Arnold Schwarzenegger we are presented to the writer himself as an immigrant. He informs us about the responsibilities as an immigrant. As an immigrant you can’t come to America and take the best the nation have to offer without giving something back. You will succeed at the American Dream with hard work and determination and because of the generosity of the American people. We are introduced to the way to become a great American citizen.You have to learn the language and blend in with the culture but in the meantime you can still be proud of your own heritage. You also have to participate in the political process. To maintain a strong democracy with real change you have to be involved. It is a way to freedom and many Americans have sacrificed their lives in war to preserve their freedom. Last but not least you hav e to give something back. As well as former great immigrants who performed a great service for the nation, new immigrants ought to do the same. There is no limit on what you can achieve.In text three â€Å"Whose American Dream Is It, Anyway? † by Anya Kamenetz we become aware of the fact that Americans are more pessimistic about their lives now than at any time in the past half-century. One of the most fundamental assumptions of the American Dream is the belief that money and ownership of material things will increase. But this is no longer how the situation is. We reached a point where this will not make us any happier. In addition to this fact it seems that the planet can’t take the increasing pollution which follows.We are presented to a prediction that young people will choose a scaled down lifestyle and trade money for time. We need a new American Dream that will restore the social safety net and we need optimism for that. Text four â€Å"Is the American Dream St ill Possible? † by David Wallechinsky comes across the question written in the title. The question is based on the fact that many Americans are struggling financially. Nevertheless they still take responsibility for their own financial destiny. This is showed by an example with a single mother providing for 4 children. 2. Compare language, tone and style in texts 1 and 2.The two texts â€Å"What is the American Dream† and â€Å"Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls Lesson From 25 Years as a U. S. Citizen – Learn English, Participate in Politics, and Give Back† are very different in their way of influencing the readers. In text one is used a very eloquent language which indicates that we are dealing with a well-educated writer. Another sign of the fact that he is well-educated is the use of difficult words which mean that you have to know synonyms of the words to fully understand the text. The text contains alliterations, a definition and a lot of quotes from well- known authorities.The style of the text is to question some relevant elements but on the other hand it expresses a really certain way of using the words. It makes you give everything an extra thought. The form of the text gives you the impression that the American Dream is attainable for everyone because of the fact that we all have unalienable rights. Contrary to text one text two is more personal. This is indicated by the use of many personal pronouns like â€Å"I† and â€Å"you† in the language. The language is very common which means that everyone can understand. Therefore the text approaches a wider target group.A lot of alliterations are used: â€Å"Honor, heritage†, â€Å"learn language†, and â€Å"died defending†. The text also contains a lot of positive words as freedom and the American Dream. The style of this text is more convincing, personal, and average so everyone can participate and understand, than text two. It is a very obliging an d explanatory tone. It expresses that everyone is worth something great. 3. As it is questioned in text four â€Å"Is the American Dream Still Possible? †: â€Å"Does the dream survive? I believe that everyone has a dream. It might not be the same dream but it is there.We all believe in our dream and hope for it to come true. We do our very best to achieve our dream. We do this with optimism even though times can be tough and the means can be poor. Our dream will show us the way back from tragedy and depression, our dream is where we are headed. The American Dream is a common dream. Many people unite around the fact that they have the same dream. It is a good dream because dreams keep our hopes up and lead us in the right direction. So I find the American dream a positive and good focal point in our lives. If we lose sight of our own dreams we still have the American Dream.It is of great value for those who lost track and need something good to believe in. We can affect the American Dream by making it our own dream. Therefore I believe that the American Dream will survive, it will survive in many of us. When going through rough times is when we realize that the dream is most needed. The dream of something better than you are going through at the time, is what you need. Which dream you have chosen to follow is not the important part. You will be recognized for your effort whether you have chosen the American Dream or another dream, as long as you have a dream. The American Dream 1. In text two â€Å"Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls Lesson From 25 Years as a U. S. Citizen – Learn English, Participate in Politics, and Give Back† by Arnold Schwarzenegger we are presented to the writer himself as an immigrant. He informs us about the responsibilities as an immigrant. As an immigrant you can’t come to America and take the best the nation have to offer without giving something back. You will succeed at the American Dream with hard work and determination and because of the generosity of the American people. We are introduced to the way to become a great American citizen.You have to learn the language and blend in with the culture but in the meantime you can still be proud of your own heritage. You also have to participate in the political process. To maintain a strong democracy with real change you have to be involved. It is a way to freedom and many Americans have sacrificed their lives in war to preserve their freedom. Last but not least you hav e to give something back. As well as former great immigrants who performed a great service for the nation, new immigrants ought to do the same. There is no limit on what you can achieve.In text three â€Å"Whose American Dream Is It, Anyway? † by Anya Kamenetz we become aware of the fact that Americans are more pessimistic about their lives now than at any time in the past half-century. One of the most fundamental assumptions of the American Dream is the belief that money and ownership of material things will increase. But this is no longer how the situation is. We reached a point where this will not make us any happier. In addition to this fact it seems that the planet can’t take the increasing pollution which follows.We are presented to a prediction that young people will choose a scaled down lifestyle and trade money for time. We need a new American Dream that will restore the social safety net and we need optimism for that. Text four â€Å"Is the American Dream St ill Possible? † by David Wallechinsky comes across the question written in the title. The question is based on the fact that many Americans are struggling financially. Nevertheless they still take responsibility for their own financial destiny. This is showed by an example with a single mother providing for 4 children. 2. Compare language, tone and style in texts 1 and 2.The two texts â€Å"What is the American Dream† and â€Å"Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls Lesson From 25 Years as a U. S. Citizen – Learn English, Participate in Politics, and Give Back† are very different in their way of influencing the readers. In text one is used a very eloquent language which indicates that we are dealing with a well-educated writer. Another sign of the fact that he is well-educated is the use of difficult words which mean that you have to know synonyms of the words to fully understand the text. The text contains alliterations, a definition and a lot of quotes from well- known authorities.The style of the text is to question some relevant elements but on the other hand it expresses a really certain way of using the words. It makes you give everything an extra thought. The form of the text gives you the impression that the American Dream is attainable for everyone because of the fact that we all have unalienable rights. Contrary to text one text two is more personal. This is indicated by the use of many personal pronouns like â€Å"I† and â€Å"you† in the language. The language is very common which means that everyone can understand. Therefore the text approaches a wider target group.A lot of alliterations are used: â€Å"Honor, heritage†, â€Å"learn language†, and â€Å"died defending†. The text also contains a lot of positive words as freedom and the American Dream. The style of this text is more convincing, personal, and average so everyone can participate and understand, than text two. It is a very obliging an d explanatory tone. It expresses that everyone is worth something great. 3. As it is questioned in text four â€Å"Is the American Dream Still Possible? †: â€Å"Does the dream survive? I believe that everyone has a dream. It might not be the same dream but it is there.We all believe in our dream and hope for it to come true. We do our very best to achieve our dream. We do this with optimism even though times can be tough and the means can be poor. Our dream will show us the way back from tragedy and depression, our dream is where we are headed. The American Dream is a common dream. Many people unite around the fact that they have the same dream. It is a good dream because dreams keep our hopes up and lead us in the right direction. So I find the American dream a positive and good focal point in our lives. If we lose sight of our own dreams we still have the American Dream.It is of great value for those who lost track and need something good to believe in. We can affect the American Dream by making it our own dream. Therefore I believe that the American Dream will survive, it will survive in many of us. When going through rough times is when we realize that the dream is most needed. The dream of something better than you are going through at the time, is what you need. Which dream you have chosen to follow is not the important part. You will be recognized for your effort whether you have chosen the American Dream or another dream, as long as you have a dream. The American Dream The American Dream is the idea that hard work and commitment will result in prosperity and completion of personal goals. It is perceived by many to be an easy way of pursuing and following through on their goals in life. Beginning in the late 1800s immigrants came into the United States looking for employment and the opportunity to succeed. These new opportunities would help lead them towards fulfilling their American Dream. The social class system in America determines the lifestyle and outcome of one’s life.The majority of people who are born into a low social class will continue to be poor throughout the rest of their lives. These people may have a goal to become wealthier, but these goals will never be fulfilled because of their negative ascribed and achieved characteristics. Positive ascribed and achieved characteristics help push people ahead in society and the social class structure. Negative ascribed and achieved characteristics hold people back and force them to overc ome these obstacles in order to succeed. Ascribed and achieved characteristics greatly affect the pursuit the Dream for people. The Great Gatsby, by F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck perfectly portray the effect of the social class system and these personal characteristics on the American Dream. Determining one’s success or failure is based upon these characteristics and ultimately determines the social class in America. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, contains many different circumstances in which these characteristics affect their pursuit of the American Dream. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the book, pursues his dream by becoming wealthy. Born into a poor family, Gatsby tries to earn his dream girls’ love by making money.For five years he makes a great amount of money only to try and impress this woman’s expectations. He faces the problem of not realizing that the past is gone and he cannot get things that are impossible to reach. The book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, shows the effect of social class and personal drive to reach the American Dream. Lennie, who is mentally retarded, faces an obstacle he will never be able to overcome. Although his dream is simple, it will never be reached because of this ascribed characteristic. Another character in the book is Curley’s wife. An ascribed characteristic that she strives from is her beauty.A negative characteristic that holds her back from achieving her dream is her low social class and the fact that she’s a woman. All of these characters have different limitations, but they will all affect their pursuit of the American Dream and result in the same outcome. The Great Gatsby shows the effect of ascribed and achieved characteristics upon the upper class. Jay Gatsby was born into a low social class. He falls in love with Daisy Buchanan who is very wealthy. His desire for love is an impossible feat that he cannot obtain because of his low social class. â€Å"Rich girls do not marry poor boys, Jay Gatsby† (Movie: The Great Gatsby).He pursues his dream by becoming wealthy and hoping that she will accept him as the same social class. A positive ascribed characteristic that will help him is the fact that he is a white male. This helps him because white men have a better chance of getting what they desire over any other gender or race. A negative ascribed characteristic is the fact that he was born into a lower class family. This will hold him back and greatly affect his pursuit of the American Dream. A positive achieved characteristic that Jay Gatsby, is the fact that he is rich after overcoming an extraordinary obstacle of beginning in a lower class position in society.His rise in the social structure from lower to upper-lower only took him five years to obtain. This is an astonishing feat in which he has succeeded and pushed himself ahead in pursuing his dream. â€Å"Almost five years! [†¦] It had gone by her, beyond everything† (Fitzgerald 101). Although he had become extremely wealthy, there is a negative side to his climb in the social structure. His negative achieved characteristic is the way in which he got all his money. The way that he made his fortune was through drugs and illegal actions. He lied to many people he was close to about his past because he knew that the truth would intrude upon his goal. I am the son of some wealthy people in the mid-west [†¦] San Francisco† (Fitzgerald 69). Gatsby figures that the only way to pursue his dream is to lie about his past. Jay Gatsby could never overcome his obstacles so he was unsuccessful in pursuing his American Dream. He focused on obtaining Daisy’s love and undoing the past. â€Å"Gatsby believed in the green light [†¦] tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms out further† (Fitzgerald 189). The biggest problem that Gatsby faces is the fact that he cannon overcome his unrealistic purs uit of Daisy.Jay Gatsby’s failure is a full result of pursuing something that he will never get; therefore, his dream cannot be fulfilled. The book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck portrays the effect of ascribed and achieved characteristics on people in the lower class. Lennie and George travel together in order to find employment and make a living. This story takes the reader through the pursuit of a dream by two men and what they go through along the way. Their mutual dream is to â€Å"get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres and a cow and some pigs and—† (Steinbeck 14).Lennie is a very strong, hardworking man who has a simple dream. The biggest problem he faces is that he is retarded. This negative ascribed characteristic is an impossible obstacle to overcome. A positive ascribed characteristic that somewhat helps him is the fact that he is a white male. A positive achieved characteristic is that he is extreme ly hardworking. â€Å"He’s awright. Just aint bright [†¦] But he can do anything you tell him† (Steinbeck 22). His problem is keeping a job in order to make money and earn a living plays a big role in his pursuit of the American Dream.His friend, George, says â€Å"If I was alone I could live so easy [†¦] I could get a job an’ not have no mess† (Steinbeck 103). His retardation leads to his problem with keeping a job and not being able to function in normal society. Not only did his negative ascribed characteristic of being retarded affect the pursuit of his dream, it ultimately led to his death. These obstacles are impossible to overcome. In result, he cannot follow through with his American Dream. Curley’s wife has extremely high expectations for her American Dream. One positive ascribed characteristic that helped her was her beauty. Her looks helped her throughout life.She was born into a low social class and later on in life she marrie d into the lower class. These are both negative ascribed and achieved characteristics of Curley’s wife. Another negative achieved characteristic of Curley’s wife is that she is a whore. She has the â€Å"eye† for other men. â€Å"She gonna make a mess [†¦] She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger† (Steinbeck 51). Before she got married to Curley she had a chance of obtaining her dream as an actress. She missed out on the opportunity and married Curly, a ranch hand. â€Å"I tell ya I could’a went with shows [†¦] she was breathless with indignation† (Steinbeck 78).When she looks back on it she finds herself to be very disappointed in her decision. She does not approve of Curley because he does not make enough money and is not up to her standards. â€Å"Spends all his time sayin’ what he’s gonna do [†¦] Think I’m gonna stay in that two-by-four house? † (Steinbeck 78) Even though she is in the lo wer social class, she visualizes herself in a higher position above others with whom she associates herself with. If it was not for her low social status I believe that she would have been successful in her dream as an actress.Her beauty took her a long way in life and it helped her become close to her desired goal. Even though her dream was not very realistic, she had many qualities that helped her. The biggest setback that she had was the fact that she was a woman in the lower section of the social structure in America. Her ascribed characteristic of being poor determined the difference between her death and fulfilling her American Dream. Throughout the novels Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many characters portray the effect of personal characteristics upon their pursuit of the American Dream.Jay Gatsby’s personal achievement could not overcome all of the obstacles he had to work around in order to obtain his dream. Even th ough he became rich, the past was over and he could not retrieve Daisy’s love. Lennie had some extremely helpful qualities, but he could not overcome his ascribed characteristic of being retarded. For Lennie, it wasn’t his personal achievement, but instead it was his ascribed characteristics which held him back from his American Dream. Curley’s wife had the desire to become an actress, but instead she married a ranch hand who was in the lower class like herself.Her negative ascribed characteristic of being born into the lower social class held her back from reaching her goal. These characters all contained their own distinguishable problems, but they all had the same outcome. Ascribed and personal characteristics determine the future and outcome of one’s desired goal and for these three characters, this was true. Personal achievement and effort cannot always overcome all obstacles and for many the American Dream is just an impossible destination to reach. â€Å"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past† (Fitzgerald 189). The American Dream The American Dream is the idea that hard work and commitment will result in prosperity and completion of personal goals. It is perceived by many to be an easy way of pursuing and following through on their goals in life. Beginning in the late 1800s immigrants came into the United States looking for employment and the opportunity to succeed. These new opportunities would help lead them towards fulfilling their American Dream. The social class system in America determines the lifestyle and outcome of one’s life.The majority of people who are born into a low social class will continue to be poor throughout the rest of their lives. These people may have a goal to become wealthier, but these goals will never be fulfilled because of their negative ascribed and achieved characteristics. Positive ascribed and achieved characteristics help push people ahead in society and the social class structure. Negative ascribed and achieved characteristics hold people back and force them to overc ome these obstacles in order to succeed. Ascribed and achieved characteristics greatly affect the pursuit the Dream for people. The Great Gatsby, by F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck perfectly portray the effect of the social class system and these personal characteristics on the American Dream. Determining one’s success or failure is based upon these characteristics and ultimately determines the social class in America. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, contains many different circumstances in which these characteristics affect their pursuit of the American Dream. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the book, pursues his dream by becoming wealthy. Born into a poor family, Gatsby tries to earn his dream girls’ love by making money.For five years he makes a great amount of money only to try and impress this woman’s expectations. He faces the problem of not realizing that the past is gone and he cannot get things that are impossible to reach. The book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, shows the effect of social class and personal drive to reach the American Dream. Lennie, who is mentally retarded, faces an obstacle he will never be able to overcome. Although his dream is simple, it will never be reached because of this ascribed characteristic. Another character in the book is Curley’s wife. An ascribed characteristic that she strives from is her beauty.A negative characteristic that holds her back from achieving her dream is her low social class and the fact that she’s a woman. All of these characters have different limitations, but they will all affect their pursuit of the American Dream and result in the same outcome. The Great Gatsby shows the effect of ascribed and achieved characteristics upon the upper class. Jay Gatsby was born into a low social class. He falls in love with Daisy Buchanan who is very wealthy. His desire for love is an impossible feat that he cannot obtain because of his low social class. â€Å"Rich girls do not marry poor boys, Jay Gatsby† (Movie: The Great Gatsby).He pursues his dream by becoming wealthy and hoping that she will accept him as the same social class. A positive ascribed characteristic that will help him is the fact that he is a white male. This helps him because white men have a better chance of getting what they desire over any other gender or race. A negative ascribed characteristic is the fact that he was born into a lower class family. This will hold him back and greatly affect his pursuit of the American Dream. A positive achieved characteristic that Jay Gatsby, is the fact that he is rich after overcoming an extraordinary obstacle of beginning in a lower class position in society.His rise in the social structure from lower to upper-lower only took him five years to obtain. This is an astonishing feat in which he has succeeded and pushed himself ahead in pursuing his dream. â€Å"Almost five years! [†¦] It had gone by her, beyond everything† (Fitzgerald 101). Although he had become extremely wealthy, there is a negative side to his climb in the social structure. His negative achieved characteristic is the way in which he got all his money. The way that he made his fortune was through drugs and illegal actions. He lied to many people he was close to about his past because he knew that the truth would intrude upon his goal. I am the son of some wealthy people in the mid-west [†¦] San Francisco† (Fitzgerald 69). Gatsby figures that the only way to pursue his dream is to lie about his past. Jay Gatsby could never overcome his obstacles so he was unsuccessful in pursuing his American Dream. He focused on obtaining Daisy’s love and undoing the past. â€Å"Gatsby believed in the green light [†¦] tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms out further† (Fitzgerald 189). The biggest problem that Gatsby faces is the fact that he cannon overcome his unrealistic purs uit of Daisy.Jay Gatsby’s failure is a full result of pursuing something that he will never get; therefore, his dream cannot be fulfilled. The book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck portrays the effect of ascribed and achieved characteristics on people in the lower class. Lennie and George travel together in order to find employment and make a living. This story takes the reader through the pursuit of a dream by two men and what they go through along the way. Their mutual dream is to â€Å"get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres and a cow and some pigs and—† (Steinbeck 14).Lennie is a very strong, hardworking man who has a simple dream. The biggest problem he faces is that he is retarded. This negative ascribed characteristic is an impossible obstacle to overcome. A positive ascribed characteristic that somewhat helps him is the fact that he is a white male. A positive achieved characteristic is that he is extreme ly hardworking. â€Å"He’s awright. Just aint bright [†¦] But he can do anything you tell him† (Steinbeck 22). His problem is keeping a job in order to make money and earn a living plays a big role in his pursuit of the American Dream.His friend, George, says â€Å"If I was alone I could live so easy [†¦] I could get a job an’ not have no mess† (Steinbeck 103). His retardation leads to his problem with keeping a job and not being able to function in normal society. Not only did his negative ascribed characteristic of being retarded affect the pursuit of his dream, it ultimately led to his death. These obstacles are impossible to overcome. In result, he cannot follow through with his American Dream. Curley’s wife has extremely high expectations for her American Dream. One positive ascribed characteristic that helped her was her beauty. Her looks helped her throughout life.She was born into a low social class and later on in life she marrie d into the lower class. These are both negative ascribed and achieved characteristics of Curley’s wife. Another negative achieved characteristic of Curley’s wife is that she is a whore. She has the â€Å"eye† for other men. â€Å"She gonna make a mess [†¦] She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger† (Steinbeck 51). Before she got married to Curley she had a chance of obtaining her dream as an actress. She missed out on the opportunity and married Curly, a ranch hand. â€Å"I tell ya I could’a went with shows [†¦] she was breathless with indignation† (Steinbeck 78).When she looks back on it she finds herself to be very disappointed in her decision. She does not approve of Curley because he does not make enough money and is not up to her standards. â€Å"Spends all his time sayin’ what he’s gonna do [†¦] Think I’m gonna stay in that two-by-four house? † (Steinbeck 78) Even though she is in the lo wer social class, she visualizes herself in a higher position above others with whom she associates herself with. If it was not for her low social status I believe that she would have been successful in her dream as an actress.Her beauty took her a long way in life and it helped her become close to her desired goal. Even though her dream was not very realistic, she had many qualities that helped her. The biggest setback that she had was the fact that she was a woman in the lower section of the social structure in America. Her ascribed characteristic of being poor determined the difference between her death and fulfilling her American Dream. Throughout the novels Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many characters portray the effect of personal characteristics upon their pursuit of the American Dream.Jay Gatsby’s personal achievement could not overcome all of the obstacles he had to work around in order to obtain his dream. Even th ough he became rich, the past was over and he could not retrieve Daisy’s love. Lennie had some extremely helpful qualities, but he could not overcome his ascribed characteristic of being retarded. For Lennie, it wasn’t his personal achievement, but instead it was his ascribed characteristics which held him back from his American Dream. Curley’s wife had the desire to become an actress, but instead she married a ranch hand who was in the lower class like herself.Her negative ascribed characteristic of being born into the lower social class held her back from reaching her goal. These characters all contained their own distinguishable problems, but they all had the same outcome. Ascribed and personal characteristics determine the future and outcome of one’s desired goal and for these three characters, this was true. Personal achievement and effort cannot always overcome all obstacles and for many the American Dream is just an impossible destination to reach. â€Å"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past† (Fitzgerald 189). The American Dream 1. In text two â€Å"Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls Lesson From 25 Years as a U. S. Citizen – Learn English, Participate in Politics, and Give Back† by Arnold Schwarzenegger we are presented to the writer himself as an immigrant. He informs us about the responsibilities as an immigrant. As an immigrant you can’t come to America and take the best the nation have to offer without giving something back. You will succeed at the American Dream with hard work and determination and because of the generosity of the American people. We are introduced to the way to become a great American citizen.You have to learn the language and blend in with the culture but in the meantime you can still be proud of your own heritage. You also have to participate in the political process. To maintain a strong democracy with real change you have to be involved. It is a way to freedom and many Americans have sacrificed their lives in war to preserve their freedom. Last but not least you hav e to give something back. As well as former great immigrants who performed a great service for the nation, new immigrants ought to do the same. There is no limit on what you can achieve.In text three â€Å"Whose American Dream Is It, Anyway? † by Anya Kamenetz we become aware of the fact that Americans are more pessimistic about their lives now than at any time in the past half-century. One of the most fundamental assumptions of the American Dream is the belief that money and ownership of material things will increase. But this is no longer how the situation is. We reached a point where this will not make us any happier. In addition to this fact it seems that the planet can’t take the increasing pollution which follows.We are presented to a prediction that young people will choose a scaled down lifestyle and trade money for time. We need a new American Dream that will restore the social safety net and we need optimism for that. Text four â€Å"Is the American Dream St ill Possible? † by David Wallechinsky comes across the question written in the title. The question is based on the fact that many Americans are struggling financially. Nevertheless they still take responsibility for their own financial destiny. This is showed by an example with a single mother providing for 4 children. 2. Compare language, tone and style in texts 1 and 2.The two texts â€Å"What is the American Dream† and â€Å"Arnold Schwarzenegger Recalls Lesson From 25 Years as a U. S. Citizen – Learn English, Participate in Politics, and Give Back† are very different in their way of influencing the readers. In text one is used a very eloquent language which indicates that we are dealing with a well-educated writer. Another sign of the fact that he is well-educated is the use of difficult words which mean that you have to know synonyms of the words to fully understand the text. The text contains alliterations, a definition and a lot of quotes from well- known authorities.The style of the text is to question some relevant elements but on the other hand it expresses a really certain way of using the words. It makes you give everything an extra thought. The form of the text gives you the impression that the American Dream is attainable for everyone because of the fact that we all have unalienable rights. Contrary to text one text two is more personal. This is indicated by the use of many personal pronouns like â€Å"I† and â€Å"you† in the language. The language is very common which means that everyone can understand. Therefore the text approaches a wider target group.A lot of alliterations are used: â€Å"Honor, heritage†, â€Å"learn language†, and â€Å"died defending†. The text also contains a lot of positive words as freedom and the American Dream. The style of this text is more convincing, personal, and average so everyone can participate and understand, than text two. It is a very obliging an d explanatory tone. It expresses that everyone is worth something great. 3. As it is questioned in text four â€Å"Is the American Dream Still Possible? †: â€Å"Does the dream survive? I believe that everyone has a dream. It might not be the same dream but it is there.We all believe in our dream and hope for it to come true. We do our very best to achieve our dream. We do this with optimism even though times can be tough and the means can be poor. Our dream will show us the way back from tragedy and depression, our dream is where we are headed. The American Dream is a common dream. Many people unite around the fact that they have the same dream. It is a good dream because dreams keep our hopes up and lead us in the right direction. So I find the American dream a positive and good focal point in our lives. If we lose sight of our own dreams we still have the American Dream.It is of great value for those who lost track and need something good to believe in. We can affect the American Dream by making it our own dream. Therefore I believe that the American Dream will survive, it will survive in many of us. When going through rough times is when we realize that the dream is most needed. The dream of something better than you are going through at the time, is what you need. Which dream you have chosen to follow is not the important part. You will be recognized for your effort whether you have chosen the American Dream or another dream, as long as you have a dream.

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