AP Language and Composition
3rd pd. 10/20/13
The American Dream is characterized by the unique aspirations for adventure, opportunity, and freedom of the people, both the immigrants and the residents, who comprise this nation. Many individuals strive towards the American Dream, but few can say they have reached it. Americans face challenges reaching for that dream, so many struggle through poverty, others drop out of the education system, and multitudes are debarred access to the opportunities this country has to offer; despite all this, the American Dream lives on, for poverty means one can only rise, failure is simply another lesson to learn, and a closed door is just one yet to be opened. The American Dream may not always be attainable in a person’s lifetime but their hopes persevere past death and can take two paths to either be accomplished by a descendant or be the motivation for the descendants’ own American Dreams. Poverty can be a deterrent for one generation, but they keep on moving forward for themselves and their children. Kenya, the place where one man, a cook and domestic servant to the British, raised a son under poverty as a goat herder and did his best to send him to school albeit in a tinroof shack, but he “had larger dreams for his son.”The man’s persisted not for himself but for his son and his future children. That son began to grow up and “through hard work and perseverance got a scholarship to study in
America.” He met a woman there in that place, that “beacon of freedom and opportunity” and had his own son, whom he named Barack Obama, to fulfill his potential.(Obama,2004) And reach his potential he did, for he became the first African American president. He names the country, a “tolerant America [where] your name is no barrier to success”, a “generous America
[where] you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential” and alludes to the principles that set the standard for all men in that they, “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"(Obama,2004). His story remains one of the many ways the American Dream was able to obtain burns passionately unwavering and unrelentless against time, through generations of Americans.
Life, like a rollercoaster, has its exhilarating ascents and frightening plummets, but it’s best to remember that even when even one fails and things take a turn for the worse, up ahead one gets the chance to rise again. Education, thought to be the epitome of success by so many only to fall short of the expectations set forth. However, there is no need to despair, for as
William Zinsser so quaintly put it, “failure isn’t bad in itself, or success automatically good.”
The term “dropout” remains consistently as a negative term and only applied “ to people under twentyone...but for the young,dropping out is often a way of dropping in.” “Failure isn’t fatal”
(Zinsser,1970). For example, all scientists,young and old, have this mindset ,for “in science if one fails to prove their hypothesis, it’s okay because they learn so much from it such as what not to do, what was done wrong, what was missing, and consequently, how one can fix it and then revise their hypothesis"(Jenkins,2013). Some scientists can be as young as sixteen and make a nuclear reactor in a garage or make a chemical agent that make tumors easily identifiable. One
thing is for sure though, each young innovator made mistakes along the way but in the end they paved their own path to success here in America. Even with the resources, it remains a matter of getting back up and pushing forward because it’s the drive that lets one even begin to reach for the American Dream.
Illegal Immigrant, the title that so many dread for all its implications. The threat of deportation which tears families apart, strips educational opportunities,