American Dream Expository Essay

The American Dream: The Essence of America Essay

490 Words2 Pages

From the birth of America, to America today, the driving force and the heart of America has always been the “American Dream.” The “American Dream” is a goal for many of people who live in the realms of the Americanized world. I believe that the “American Dream” is controlling my own destiny, becoming successful, and living free. Examples of this dream are things like television, automobiles, supermarkets, malls, Internet, planes, trains, etc. The “American Dream” is success, freedom, and being able to control your own destiny.

Becoming successful has been the dreams of many people of the past and present and I think that it is one the most important things that a person must accomplish. Anyone and everyone can develop into a…show more content…

There is no limit to what you can accomplish in America and becoming successful is part of the ultimate dream.

The ability to be free made this country into the melting pot it is today and that ability still brings many immigrants who believe in the “American Dream” to the country. Today freedom is often overlooked because all of us are use to it, but in many countries freedom is just the “American Dream”. The ability to say what we feel and protest injustice is imperative and should not be overlook as part of the “American Dream”. Freedom is a reality because people believe in the “American Dream”.

Controlling one’s own destiny is the last essential part of the “American Dream”. Like freedom, this significant part is often disregarded as not being part of the dream, but it should be recognized because it is rare in the world. In most countries a person is told by the government what they will become or are born into a cast system where they are stuck there till death. In America we could be born into a low-income family and excel to great fortunes, but the system also works the other way. The “American Dream” allow people to control their own destiny.

The “American Dream” is success, freedom, and being able to control your own destiny. We may complain about the economy. We may complain about our government or our President but in how many other countries is the press free to report the leaders indiscretions. We

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Essay example

The American Dream defined the life of the citizens in a way that would make them feel better and have quality living standards. It focused on improvement of all the aspects of the life of all Americans, equality to all, justice, fairness as well as the economic status of the state as a whole. It was meant to encourage hard work, commitment and ambitions of every American citizen.

This phrase is rooted to a historian but according to him, it meant better wages and the ownership of motor cars in the year 1931 (Cullen, 64). It was then developed and acquired a deeper meaning as for today. Currently, this phrase means much of development, advancing to other greater levels and the economic and political stability of the state.

In his work The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald uses characters in a fictional village, West Egg which is located in the Long Island in the year 1922 when it was summer. He focuses on this rich gentleman Jay Gatsby who is passionate and obsessed with Daisy Buchanan. In this book the themes of idealism, decadence, social upheaval, resistance to changes are explored creating a Jazz Age Portrait which is described as the tale which regards the American dream. The essay summarizes the contrasting features between The Great Gatsby and the real American dream. It explains whether the American dream is still being followed to the end in the real life of the American citizens.

In this novel, Jay follows the love of his life irrespective of all the odds that come across his way but it happens that he does not end up marrying Daisy and instead she is married to Tom. Nick Carraway moves from mid west and starts living in the West egg where he intends to become an all rounded man and recapture the exciting moments that he had enjoyed while he was in the army before then. His family was well up when it came to finances “My family has been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generation.” on page 3 of the book.


Argument breakdown

The essay explores the ideology of “The American Dream” through The Great Gatsby. It begins by explaining what the American dream originally meant and what it means now. The writer mentions different themes in the novel and their effects on the lives of Americans as they pursue the real American dream. The essay also outlines the main characters of the story.

Argument analysis

In general, a book review or report should include several key elements. These include:

  • Background

  • Characters

  • Themes

  • Key ideas

  • Evaluation

  • Quotes

The essay contains many of these elements. The main part of the report should discuss key ideas and characters. Here, the writer is exploring a specific concept within the book -- the American dream.


The writer defines the key term and gives a brief history of it. He or she should include a thesis statement to show readers the direction the essay will take. Is the American dream in The Great Gatsby reflective of the true American dream? The answer to that question is a possible thesis statement.

Body paragraph 1

Argument - The writer introduces two characters, Jay and Daisy, and summarizes the important themes of the book. According to the writer, the novel “explains whether the American dream is still being followed to the end in the real life of the American citizens.” Identification of main characters and themes is an important aspect of this type of essay.

Reasoning - The writer states the book explores “idealism, decadence, social upheaval, resistance to changes.” The writer also states the book “summarizes the contrasting features between The Great Gatsby and the real American dream.” However, the writer does not include supporting information to show how the author does this. How do the actions of the characters support these statements?

Body paragraph 2

Argument - The writer introduces two more characters in this paragraph -- Tom and Nick Carraway. The paragraph focuses on Tom’s financial standing and ambitions. This provides context in terms of how people of that era pursued the American dream.

Reasoning - The paragraph does not dissect the relationship between characters and the American dream enough. The writer could analyze their storylines to reveal similarities and contrasts in perspective of the American dream then and now.

Analysis summary

The essay checks many of the boxes of a book report. However, the writer investigated a specific ideology -- the American dream -- within the story. Therefore, besides a description of the characters, this concept could be explored more. Including excerpts and quotes from the book would strengthen the essay writer's argument. A deeper analysis of one or two of the main characters would reveal prevailing attitudes and contrasts in the society of the time.

The report ends abruptly, so the reader is left hanging. The author should edit essay ending with a conclusion.  The writer should repeat key ideas and give an opinion of the book.

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