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Pages:
5 pages/≈1375 words
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8 Sources
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MLA
Subject:
Literature & Language
Type:
Research Paper
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

How Manifestation and Materialism are Related to the American Dream (Research Paper Sample)

Instructions:

Four of the eight references need to be published books, including great Gatsby and death of the salesman.

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How Manifestation and Materialism are Related to the American Dream
People have a different understanding of what the American dream is and what it encompasses. Truslow Adams, the man who came up with the term American dream defined it as the pursuit “of a better, richer, and happier life for all our citizens of every rank which is the greatest contribution we have as yet made to the thought and welfare of the world” (20). But is everything outlined in his description attainable? Have people come up with different versions of the American dream and sought to pursue these instead of what Truslow had in mind? The answer to the second question is yes. Today, the American dream is subjective and this means that it may not have the same meaning to everyone. To some people, especially immigrants from poor nations, the American dream represents opportunities to advance their lives and pursue their dreams. To some Americans, it means attaining great health and to others, it means attaining financial success or political success. Looking at all the definitions and description of the American dream, one notices two themes that have become commonplace. These two are manifestation (also known as manifest destiny) and materialism. Initially, anything could be considered American dream including the discoveries that were made by scientists as well as the settlement of the Europeans in America. However, people have moved or started to embrace the ideas of materialism as well as manifest destiny and these have altered the American dream. Currently, the American dream is personal and only includes individual success. Selfishness has become commonplace as people aim to improve themselves and those affiliated with them. This article seeks to draw on real-life examples as well as textual evidence to showcase how the American dream is closely associated with manifestation and materialism.
Today, people care more about financial success than in the past and are willing to do anything to make sure they achieve this dream. The number of people who are caught cheating, for example, in casinos, dealing in the drugs business, and also engaging in illegal activities continues to rise. One of the chief reasons why this is happening is because people are after financial success and seem to believe that prosperity lies in being rich or having more money that everyone around you. In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald makes the above point quite clear using the life of Gatsby. Gatsby sought financial success and wanted to be a wealthy man. However, this path led him to do a lot of things and to value money more than people. At one instance, Gatsby remarks, “I was in the drug business and then I was in the oil business. But I’m not in either one now” (Fitzgerald, 94). From the above, it is clear that Gatsby was willing to do anything within his power to attain wealth. He was chasing his American dream. At another instance, he says the following regarding Daisy: “her voice was full of money” (Fitzgerald, 125). These were words of a man whose focus was money. Materialism had gotten the best of him as it has a lot of people today. The problem, however, is that people are becoming more materialistic at the expense of humanity, the earth’s status, and everything that can and should be considered essential in life.
Aside from people chasing financial success, another issue that shows that the American dream is related to manifestation (manifest destiny) and materialism is the disregard for fellow men and women. When the United States was developing or acquiring its imperialist character, change was imminent and not only for the settlers bu

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