Reflection on 'Facing Up the American Dream'

Published: 2022-11-08
Reflection on 'Facing Up the American Dream'
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Literature Medicine
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 616 words
6 min read

The most significant ideas presented in Jennifer Hochschild's 'Facing Up the American Dream' that I consider the most important are the tenets of the 'American Dream.' Being a common concept and fuel for ambition in the modern world, it was a worthwhile effort in my opinion for the author to attempt in elucidating what constitutes the 'American Dream'. This author has impressively outlined what she considers to be the main components of the 'American Dream,' including who may pursue it and what the final product is likely to resemble. In a current world where several principalities exists that explains what success means to various people, it is a good thing to go back to the basics and examine the building elements of what constitutes success. The 'American Dream' is still a viable model for success that applies in the modern world.

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It is especially important that the author went ahead to explain what the tenets of success are, as outlined in the 'American Dream'. She goes ahead to quote Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States of America who said that, "The American dream that we were all raised on is a simple but powerful one - if you work hard and play by the rules you should be given a chance to go as far as your God-given ability will take you." (Hochschild, 16). This is possible as raw as any definition of the 'American Dream' will ever come. In one sentence, the values of hard work, integrity, fidelity to the laid out rules and divine guidance are portrayed as being indispensable in the pursuit of success.

Such a definition that breaks down the requirements of success is essential in a world where traditional values are being compromised every other day. It is no longer clear what the boundaries of morality are, in the pursuit of success. Almost anything goes as far as the chase for the 'American Dream' is concerned, and a statement like this is a sober and powerful reminder of what it takes to achieve real, concrete success, in an increasingly liberal world. The author further goes ahead to explain that according to the 'American Dream', literally, anyone may pursue success (Hochschild, 25). The pursuance of success is important news to any person, young or old, who may be considering a stab at the 'American Dream'. It goes to show that the qualities that are required to achieve the dream are attainable to anyone, which by extension means that anyone could fulfil the dream, just as long as they are ready and willing to put in the work.

The principle of anyone pursuing the 'American Dream' have been demonstrated by the fact that millions of immigrants have made the arduous journey to get a fresh start in the US. They sincerely believe that America offers a clean slate upon which they may build a new life that offers higher chances of a successful future. One aspect of the 'American Dream,' however, that requires further development circulates the idea of how the dream has evolved over time (Hochschild, 33). Granted, America was the land of abundant opportunity a few decades back. In this day and age, the world offers several locales that have an equal or better reputation than America back then. How has the American dream evolved in light of such developments? It would be interesting to note whether any revisions have been made to the definition of the 'American Dream' thus far, because several quarters around the world offer equal or greater opportunity than the 'American Dream' proposes.


Hochschild, Jennifer L. Facing up to the American dream: Race, class, and the soul of the nation. Vol. 51. Princeton University Press, 1996.

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