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American Dream

American Dream - Nightmare on 7th Street The achievement of...

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Nightmare on 7 th Street The achievement of the American Dream is often believed to be pursued through hard work and diligence when given the universal American right of equal opportunity. While many go about achieving the dream this way, the reality is that one’s effort and persistency would not suffice in the cutthroat market that Los Angeles has come to be. The populated metropolis’ demographics evidently show the reasons as to why there is much difficulty surrounding citizens being able to reach the American Dream. The intense competition, illegal workforce, and poverty-stricken communities are commonplace characteristics of the Los Angeles population that further exemplify how the city hold outs an illusion of the American success but ultimately restricts its citizens of the dream. Constantly surrounded by idealistic images of wealth and fame, individuals are reminded of the happiness materialistic success brings and is motivation enough to drive citizens to want to attain money any way possible. Through black market activities, such as drug deal operations, the “American Nightmare” has become a lifestyle of obtaining the desired life America has promised to millions through negative actions. While this route is often taken due to its easy access and availability to all, the city’s unjust history of racial segregation and immigration policies have pushed more minorities down this path because of the restrictions Los Angeles had once put on them. Allured by the promise of endless opportunities and a better life, Hispanics journeyed across the border empty-handed into the Californian desert, hoping to escape the restricted life they had once been leading to find the dream in the city of LA. Los Angeles continued to grow more attractive to foreigners as projects went up to further improve the city’s land. Engineer William Mulholland launched a project that siphoned an extensive supply of water from Owens Valley, which made the city fully able to support its growing population. With the resulting increase in land 1
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value, real estate, agriculture, and farming output, more opportunities opened up, creating a greater population surge that brought in individuals from all races, mainly falling upon the Hispanic population (Garcia 92). Between the years of 1910 to 1930, the Hispanic population jumped from around 1,800 individuals to a major 14,000 in only five surveyed cities in Southern California (Garcia 262). Published records also showed that “75,000 to 100,000 Mexican men, women, and children made the citrus belt their home between 1930 and 1940” (Garcia 108). The sudden spike in the Mexican immigrant population further demonstrated the upward development and increasing value of the Los Angeles land and the increasing number of those chasing after the American Dream.
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