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American dream: myth or reality
Dominik Bleckmann, Jgst. 13
AMERICAN DREAM: MYTH OR REALITY?
“I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door!”
This final line to “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, which is engraved on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, has welcomed millions of hopeful immigrants coming to Americ driven on by a dream, the American Dream. What is this dream that so many come looking for? The American Dream means freedom, success, opportunities, equality, justice, and safety for all. The chance so unique, it only exists in a single country. But how many actually achieve it? Is it a myth or reality? It can be fact or fiction. America is like a double-edged1 sword, with the ability2 to strengthen your heart and the risk of stabbing3 you in the stomach.
Each aspect of the American Dream can lead to succeed or failure. “I think we forget that just the opportunity to succeed is a basic freedom that eludes many people on this planet.” - Mike W. When people come to America trying to make the dream come true, everyone is given a chance to succeed. However, it is extremely rare to exceed4 social barrier. Although this may seem pessimistic, one’s surroundings5 often shape the character and one’s incentive6 to succeed.
If a person were to grow up in a poverty- stricken area for all of his life, the only experience that person would have with the adult world would be of low income and most likely poor education. From this you can conclude, this person may draw the conclusion that all places in the world are like that one area, and their goals or standards will be lowered to the level of life that they know. In America everyone is given chance to succeed. In many countries, the social level in which you are born is the one that you must stay in for your whole life. In the United States, public education is available, as well as many financial aides7 given for colleges so that one may go on to achieve one’s goals in life. America is a country of equal opportunities, but those who want to succeed must fight the battle to rise8 above the standards that were branded9 upon them as a child.
A essential aspect of the American democraty is the justice system, which states that all citizens are “innocent until proven guilty” (like in Germany). But what happens when someone is proven innocent10 for a crime they committed? Many hard core11 criminals destroying the future of the country can get away with crimes by technicalities. For example, an unconstitutional gathering of evidence or witness tampering12. This allows these criminals to walk away with no punishment for their actions. America is proud of its justice system, which is supposed to help protect the American people, but if so many can get out of discipline, how safe are the citizens? The truth of the matter is an interesting paradox: These mistakes that allow criminals to go free are simultaneously13 attributes to the justice system which protects the rights of America’s people. This makes justice an honorable system which protects the freedoms and rights of this country.
Each person is guaranteed a fair trial, and if someone believes their trial was unfair (under any circumstances, such as discrimination, etc.) they may appeal a verdict14, and bring the case to a higher court, sometimes even to the Supreme Court. The justice system in America has an equally sharp blade15 on each of its two ends, both securing and endangering16 the citizens of America and their dream. "I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.
" 1 Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech focusing on racism in America and the importance of equality. The law guarantees everyone in America is treated equally, no matter their race, gender, social level, or anything else. Although this may be true, America’s past shows slavery, racism, and discrimination. These may all seem like past occurrences17, but recent experiences show that some tension18 still remains19. Women, men, African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, and people of every other minority are allowed to run and vote for major offices such as the President and Vice President.
However, a black person, Hispanic person, Jewish person or a woman has never in the history of America held either of these offices. Susan B. Anthony said, “We are assembled to protect against a form of government existing with out the consent of the governed- to declare our right to be free as man is free, to be represented in the government which we are taxed to support.” Her efforts, and those of many other women, have come about to change the course of history- and today, two women hold some of the highest offices in the U.S. government: Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, and Attorney General, Janet Reno.
Equality in America is essential for success and is part of living the American Dream. But with every success comes a mistake, and this is no different. Every American is not treated equally, even with all of the laws protecting the citizens. The American Dream has many aspects, and it can be fact or fiction depending on the efforts of the American people. Perseverance20 is a shield which protects the dream of the people. But it is also the American people who protect the dream.
Only through their perseverance can the dream be achieved. The double-edged1 sword of the American Dream is protected and fulfilled by the shield of perseverance. “The American Dream has always been there, but its attainment depends of having the perspective to see what opportunities are in front of you.” - Mike W. Useful vocabulary: 1double-edged zweideutig 11hard core hart gesotten 2the ability die Fähigkeit 12witness tampering Falschaussage 3to stab niederstechen 13simultaneous gleichzeitig 4to exceed überschreiten 14appeal a verdict in Berufung gehen 5surrounding Umgebung 15sharp blade scharfe Klinge 6incentive Anreiz 16to endanger gefährden 7aides Hilfen 17occurrence Ereignis 8to rise steigen/aufsteigen/erheben 18tension Spannung 9to brand in eine „Klasse“ einstufen 19to remain (übrig)bleiben 10innocent unschuldig 20perseverance Ausdauer Quellen:https://goinside.com/99/11/myth.
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