The common American definition of success is becoming wealthy. A few classmates and I made a survey, asking several people ages 16-30 what their views on the American dreams were. When asked what their definition of success was, 40 out of 56 responded with “money”, or “getting rich”. This concept does not come out of the blue, either. It is often displayed in America’s political system. Often times our presidents have to be wealthy in order to be elected into office, along with other government officials. The concept is also practiced in the media; where there are more celebrities born into stardom than there are celebrities working for their stardom. Wealthy families are more likely to achieve their dreams, whether it’s fame or seeing the world or having a respectable social status with a big house. Those things can all be obtained with money.
There is also the fact that everyone views the American dream differently, as well as viewing America as a whole differently. An MTV episode portraying two teens coming to the United States accurately displayed this. One of the teens coming here often compared America to “Heaven”, saying once he arrived, he would be able to pursue his dreams. Once he arrived, he saw how hard it was for someone with little money and little knowledge to achieve their dreams here. It was amazing to be here, but he was shocked at how much work he had to put into surviving. This is what many immigrants face once coming to the United States. Although they are ready to work, the world can paint a very deceiving picture when it comes to achieving dreams here. Often times, people don’t understand that sometimes you do not have to work for your dream, but often times you do. Some people get thrown into their dreams; others slave away and never achieve it in the end. The United States is a country of both failure and success.
The other teen featured on the MTV episode was coming to America for college, her one shot at becoming something great. Her chances of achieving her dreams of becoming an amazing athlete in her home country were slim. She left everything behind to chase her dream in America, including her terminally ill mother. Things were different for this teen. Unlike the male teen coming to America, her