View of the American Dream essay

View of the American Dream essay - Mike Finfer Writing 140...

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Mike Finfer Writing 140 Assignment 5 11.20.06 A New Perspective: The American Dream and its Ideals When I was about eight years old, I became consciously aware of the American Dream for the first time. I watched a movie called An American Tail , a cartoon about a family of mice that emigrate from their homeland and travel to America. I do not remember many of the specifics of the movie, but I do remember loving the story, and being overjoyed when the poor mice were finally able to have a happy life. My young mind did not register that this story was the most basic idea of the American Dream, nor did I understand that not only did it happen historically, but also in the modern day. The iconography of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were ingrained in my mind, to be forever associated with the tribulations of a poor family looking for a better life. The problems that faced the mice had no real-world meaning to me; escaping from vicious, xenophobic cats did not relate to me, and the true-life metaphors and allusions that the film undoubtedly contained went far over my head. I did not know it at the time, but this movie, as well as many other events and experiences in my life, have shaped my view on what the American Dream means. My initial view of the American Dream was very limited and superficial, in the sense that I only associated it with stories of upward social mobility, like in An American
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Tail . The stories I knew of the American Dream dealt the immigrant dream of success in America, that in which a poor foreign family is able to achieve a level of financial security unattainable in their homeland. This view was undoubtedly influenced by the portrayal of the American Dream in this fashion in popular culture and the media. An American Tail is one of many examples of the Dream being portrayed in this way. Until
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