American Dream  

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“To become and to remain an American, one must look upon life as a struggle and not as a pleasure, and seek in it, victorious effort, energetic and efficacious action, rather than pleasure, leisure embellished by the cultivation of the arts, the refinements proper to other societies. Everywhere-—We have seen that what makes the American succeed, what constitutes his type—is character, personal energy, energy in action, creative energy.”, Reflections on Violence by Georges Sorel citing La Vie américaine by Paul de Rousiers

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The American Dream is the idea held by many in the United States that through hard work, courage and determination one could achieve prosperity. These were values held by many early European settlers, and have been passed on to subsequent generations. What the American dream has become is a question under constant discussion.


The term is used in popular discourse, and scholars have traced its use in American literature ranging from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon (1977). Other writers who used the American Dream theme include Hunter S. Thompson, Edward Albee, John Steinbeck, Langston Hughes. The American Dream is also presented through the American play, Death of a Salesman by playwright Arthur Miller. The play's protagonist, Willy, is on a journey for the American Dream.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "American Dream" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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